The questions most of you must be are asking when you see this is:
Can United really be repaired? And how do you know how to do it?
And the simple answers are yes it can, and I don’t, I can only speculate (the reason why I’m not the big boss under pressure over there).
This season Manchester United have been poor, really poor, and so this summer things need to happen to ensure that next season is not at a similar standard of failure. The media is often quoted as saying "on overhaul is needed", and I agree, signings need to happen, and the players who aren’t of United’s quality need to be departed.
We have a fantastic youth system in place with a brink of new players hopefully about to come in in the next few seasons (Januzaj being the ‘Giggs’ of this generation, the first one to get his chance), yet players still need to be brought in to fill over the cracks and stop United from descending into pure and utter chaos. Therefore, a plan has been devised, outlining what we need in terms of players and positions, and I have given it my best to try and determine what I think would be the best players to buy for those roles.
Note: All players brought up here have been rumoured or linked to United by some source, and the real-life attitudes and what is plausible (so no Liverpool players for example) has also been taken into account
For those interested in what exactly United need, the following list has been made:
· A Left-back/Full-back
· A World-class Centre Back
· A Centre-midfielder
· An Attacking/Ball playing Central midfielder
1. Lure Kroos or Gundogan away from Bayern/Dortmund for 25-30million. Both over the course of the January transfer windows have been linked with United, both are excessive to their respective clubs and both would fit in beautifully in the United Midfield. They are the Scholes-esque midfield type not seen since the Englishman departed, able to in a moment of brilliance create or execute a chance to win a game. Kroos of course is the more attacking of the two, and he offers cover in the deeper central midfield role as well as someone to dictate the play and bring the ball up the field. He would need a rock defensively alongside him in midfield (similar to the Yaya Toure – Fernadinho combination at Manchester city), so sorry Cleverly but you just don’t cut it there. Gundogan however, despite being injured, I believe still can come into form if he were bought, and is able to sit deeper and hold up/distribute the ball whilst still being able to attack if necessary. They both have the flair, skill and physicality needed to make it at the premier league level.
Backup: Kevin-Prince Boateng (why not?)
2. Buy unwanted and unused Alex Song from Barcelona (15-20 million?). Again, a player who’s excessive to the club and would fit right in in United’s needs. He’s a fantastic defensive midfielder who’s strong and proven himself already in the Premier league, and would make a fantastic cover for whichever of the two above if bought play alongside him. With Vidal holding all the cards with United over at Juventus, Song might be tempted to join the Red Devils in order to get some playing time and be willing to sacrifice the Champions League to do so.
Backup: William Carvalho
3. Buy Fabio Coentrao from Real Madrid for 10 million.
Finally right? Is what plenty of United fans around the world would say if it were to happen, that and "I saw it coming". A bit of a trend here has been made in players who are supplementary to their clubs need’s, and that’s probably going to have to be realistic option if United (as the mostly likely will), miss out on the Champions league next season. Here’s a good attacking full back, and is more defensively capable than the ex-wing back converted full back Patrice Evra is. He’s just someone everyone can picture in a United shirt, with the flair as well as the want to go and win games, never giving up before the final whistle blows (something that’s been missing a lot this season).
4. Buy Ezequiel Garay from Benfica for 15-20 million.
With the departure of Vidic to Inter Milan next season now confirmed, Moyes needs to go out and buy a really solid, elite centre-back. And Garay is just that. He’s got experience in Europe as well as international, and so I have no doubt that we would be able to cut it in the Premier League. He’s the perfect compliment to Evans, the more ball-playing type centre-back. He’s a defensive rock over in Portugal, and would fill a gaping hole that United are going to have next season if nothing is done about it. As much as I am a believer in promoting the youth and letting them have their chances, a centre-back group of Evans, Jones, Smalling and one of the Keane brothers is just too young and inexperienced to provide a solid core for the squad, something Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography quotes as "the fundamentals for any of my teams". He’d also be a great role model on the pitch for the other players, able to control his temperament and provide a solid foundation for the back line in front of De Gea.
Backup: Mangala (If man city don’t go back for him again, that is).
Where does it leave them?:
Man Utd have been rumoured to have been given a 200 million-transfer budget for the next two years from the glazers, and assuming Moyes will want to save some for next year, United will have spent the following:
- 30 million for Kroos/Gundogan
- 20 million for Song
- 10 million for Coentrao
- 20 million for Garay
= 80 million total (not including any money made from players that’d be sold)
The team for United is then:
Rafael Garay Evans Coentrao
Mata Rooney Januzaj
- Lindegard (ugh)
As a final word, whilst some people say United may need 8 players to save them next season, a high-caliber 4, coupled with a direction and definite tactic employed by Moyes’ team, could see them yet again climb up the Premier league ranks on their way to a 21st title (I wish). Doesn’t sound too bad now does it?