With two signings already completed by Mourinho, lets take a look at some of the positions which arguably need strengthening.
Our first summer signing was Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, a centre back. Last season it was made clear that Eric Bailly is our best central defender. Although Marcos Rojo did have a good season, his past performances bring into question whether he is good enough to be our first choice centre back. Another option is Chris Smalling who was without a doubt, our best defender in the 2015/16 season. Unfortunately, he failed to replicate his performances last season and is seeming to be more of a liability. In the Europa League final Phil Jones was selected over Smalling, but the issue with Jones is that he is too prone to injuries. Partnering Jones in CB in the final was Daley Blind (due to Bailly’s suspension). Blind is a calm and composed defender and a great reader of the game, however he does seem to lack the physicality that is needed in a centre back. There will be great competition for game time with these centre backs but Lindelof does seem like he’ll be the player to partner Bailly in the important games. However, things could change after the pre season matches.
Romelu Lukaku is our most recent signing. The former Everton forward scored 32 goals in 44 appearances last season (including international matches) and also registered 4 assists. Competing with him for the striker’s role will be Marcus Rashford who will find it hard to get game time in his favoured position. Last season, Rashford scored 11 goals in 59 appearances whilst playing across the front line for club and country. Another player who is yet to find his best position is Anthony Martial. Although the young French forward has been playing on the left for most of his time at United, he ended last season playing a few games up top. He managed to get 9 goals in 45 appearances last season and it’s fair to say he under performed.
There are several positions which still need strengthening for Manchester United and it looks like Mourinho will not be able to bring in the signings before the pre season tour starts. We need to bring in a defensive midfielder, a full back and a winger.
In terms of a CDM, although we have Michael Carrick, who was recently named the new Manchester United captain, we need another option. Carrick is aging and will be unable to play 90 minutes twice a week. Gary Neville: “Michael Carrick can’t play every week so they need a player who can do that job and Nemanja Matic would be able.”. This transfer window has seen us linked with several holding midfielders including Matic, Bakayoko, Dier and Nainggolan.
The saga with Ivan Perisic seems never ending for us and we seem no closer to signing the Croatian winger. We certainly need to bring in a winger this summer, but the only player that seems like they could realistically come in is Perisic. The price which Inter Milan are demanding for him is completely unrealistic. Although he is a good player, his age (28) needs to be taken into consideration. Also, stats show that he had the second worst conversion rate in Serie A, and this is not what we need after our poor finishing ability last season.
We need to bring in a full back this summer. Although we do have Shaw, Darmian, Valencia and Fosu Mensah, a few of these players are relatively injury prone. Furthermore, with Luke Shaw, it is hard to tell if he will make it as a Manchester United player as he did not show much last season. We’ve been linked with Fabinho and the Brazilian has admitted his love for Manchester United. However again, nothing much has been done here and it looks like he is unlikely to sign for us.
Before the transfer window started, Mourinho made it clear that he wanted all of his signings to be made before the pre season tour so that the players had time to gel and work together. This is clearly not going to happen. In all honesty, when a club hears that Manchester United wants to buy one of their players, they know that we have the financial resources and the willingness to spend big. It is hard as clubs will always demand more money from the big teams. On top of that, the constant speculation and fake news made up by the media does not help the situation. We are linked with more players than any other club in the world so it is hard to determine which news is real and which is fake. Lets just hope that we can still bring in a few new faces this summer.