So far Manchester United have signed just three players and in truth, it can be argued that they have signed only one first team player. There is an argument that United are actually going into the league weaker than they were at the start of last season.
The signings that Ed Woodward has so far pulled off are largely unimpressive. In from Stoke City came the adequate bargain of Lee Grant. He has been an excellent back-up in the Premier League at times, but has only facilitated the exit of Joel Pereira on loan. He is not expected to play, merely to provide cover. The affect on the first team should be nil, and if he is playing it will only mean disaster has occurred in front of him.
Fred, £52m from Shakhtar Donetsk, is a necessary signing. He seems an able player, capable of direct forward play and tracking back to tackle. With Nemanja Matic injured and Paul Pogba both unhappy and unreliable, his signing is essential. After the retirement of Michael Carrick, one could argue that this is merely a case of the squad treading water.
The other signing is Diogo Dalot, a very inexperienced teenager from Porto. Apparently he can play both on the left and the right wing of defence, but it could take him years to adjust and there is no reason to think he will be able to take over from Antonio Valencia or Ashley Young.
There is no right winger, and there is no central defender. Both of those, particularly the latter position, are essential, but the rumours have seen United go through Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Diego Godin, Kurt Zouma, and Harry Maguire and come up with nothing. Ed Woodward knew what was needed months ago, and he has less than two hours to fix it.