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Despite spending almost all the money left in the world on their current central defense options, Manchester United are on the hunt for a new defender and could still use the boost from another signing.
Victor Lindelof hasn’t developed as expected when he signed for just over £ 30 million in 2017 and while Eric Bailly seems like the man to go with Harry Maguire when he’s in shape, United have hardly reaped the rewards of spending £ 30. million to sign him. 2016.
As for Harry Maguire, England’s international polarization divides opinions almost everywhere. But considering United paid a world record £ 80 million for his services, he will stick around regardless of whether the fans like him or not, which means a new defender has to come to join him.
Ole Gunnar Solskja’s team is slowly improving over time and becoming a consistent team with leadership for the first time in years. While the summer will likely involve searching for more attacking options, another central defender is needed to continue United’s transformation. Signing that defender in the January transfer window would go a long way to alleviate summer stress and ensure they get the best of whoever the transfer is in the long run.
Despite the efforts of José Mourinho and now Solskjaer, United’s current defensive options are simply not enough. Eric Bailly’s injury history is wildly unfortunate, but it’s not something the Red Devils can afford to waste more time on as the team continues to progress.
United conceded 36 Premier League goals in total during the 2019/20 campaign, but have already let in 24 this season and are yet to reach the halfway point.
Lindelof has failed to improve key aspects of his game, such as aerial skill and game reading. While his passing is a strength, he is often caught, and at 26, United must prioritize a candidate with a larger development window or someone who is already at the required level.
With Bailly and Lindelof unprepared for the task, he leaves Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo in the hat. The jury is still out on Tuanzebe who, like Bailly, struggles to stay in shape, and the less said about Jones and Rojo the better. With so many defensive options left but not suitable for the job, United have enough to sell to fund a move in January for a new center-back.
Part of the problem that still exists among Solskjaer’s team is the amount of dead wood that remains. He has been the most successful man since Sir Alex Ferguson to clean it up, but there is still a way to go. If United can commit to trading a few more players in the January window, there is an opportunity to bring in a new player before the summer, which can only benefit the team going forward.
His decision to pull the trigger on Bruno Fernandes in January 2020 serves as a testament to that. While many are quick to doubt the January signings, Fernandes’ impact on the United squad has been like no other, because they were so desperate for a creative outlet. Hiring an advocate in January 2021 would produce similar results; It gives them the second half of the season to get acquainted with the English game and gives the team a boost, but it also guarantees them a full preseason with the team and essentially prepares them for the following season well in advance.
Doing some business sooner rather than later also cuts down on your shopping list. It’s no secret that the Red Devils are expected to hit some big deals this summer, whether it’s rekindling interest in Jadon Sancho or Jack Grealish, or moving for a forward and defensive midfielder. However, a central defender is still on that list, which means that if they can get one now, it gives them a better chance of landing goals in the summer.
Whether it’s another veteran with a bursting resume like Edinson Cavani or a young talent with a bright future, it takes a new center back in the Theater of Dreams to step forward and bring out the best in Harry Maguire.
If United can sign that candidate on before the January transfer deadline, it’s another step toward balancing an already talented team.