Summer Signings that can help United challenge for the Premier League again

United lifting title

The Summer transfer window is drawing ever closer and United need to spend top dollar on quality players to improve the squad’s depth.

We are over midway through the 2020/21 Premier League Season and it appears to be a clear-cut victory for our neighbours, Manchester City. Over the Christmas break it didn’t seem quite so clear who the favourite to win the esteemed Premier League title.

United who are 13-time champions of this competition looked to be in control in December. Liverpool struggling, City yet to start their unbelievable 21-game winning run, United fans were perhaps overly optimistic about a 14th PL title coming home to the red side of Manchester. However, United have only won 3 games in the league since they were top of the league.

It seems apparent now that United have to improve their squad in the summer transfer window in order to challenge for the League next season. Without a league title since 2013, United fans all over the world are desperate to see their players lift the trophy. In additon to this, we must not forget that United are without a trophy since 2017.

However, United look to be in strong positions in the FA Cup and Europa League.

Fairy-tale ending?

It would be naive to believe some of the transfer rumours surrounding United. Almost every year Cristiano Ronaldo is linked with a move back to the club where his outstanding career started.

The return of CR7 to United to finish his career would be a fairy-tale ending. There were strong rumours coming from Manchester City about signing one of the greatest talents in football history, Lionel Messi. A dream scenario, Ronaldo back at United and reuniting his rivalry with Messi at Manchester City.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for Manchester United. Source: 

However, although a return of Cristiano to the red side of Manchester is appealing to supporters, it is not what the club desire.

Academy Legacy

It has been forever entrenched in the history of Manchester United to develop young players. Some of our most famous players were academy graduates, a prime example is the “class of 92”.

Manchester United hold an astonishing record of over 4000 games played since 1937 with at least one academy graduate in their match day squad or line-up.

The Class of 92, pictured with Sir Alex Ferguson, are the most successful academy graduate year in the history or Manchester United. Source:

With pundits and fans everywhere stating that City have already won the title, United are leading the race for second place. It has been over 8 years since United have lifted the PL trophy, it is still apparent that we need to bolster our squad in the summer.

The main targets for United have been outlined as a new centre-back, a right-winger and a striker.


United sit 4th on the list of clean sheets in the League this season. This seems like a fairly decent statistic, yet it doesn’t reflect on some of our poor defensive problems this season. We have conceded twice as many goals as the league leaders Manchester City.

Furthermore, we have suffered embrassing defeats to Spurs (losing 6-1), Istanbul Basaksehir (losing 2-1) and Crystal Palace on the opening day of the league (losing 3-1).

The epicentre of the problem is certainly in the centre of defence. Club Captain Harry Maguire has been a constant at the back. He has partnered with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and even Scott McTominay.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has picked the partnership of Maguire and Lindelof the most times in his tenure as United manager. Source: 

United have had some of the best centre-backs in the world play at Old Trafford. The likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Laurent Blanc, Gary Pallister, Duncan Edwards and Jaap Stam.

The United hierarchy will hope to bring in a young top-quality centre-back that will most likely slot into our back 4 next to captain Harry Maguire.

Our top summer targets include:

Jules Kounde:

  • Age – 22
  • Nationality – French
  • Current club – Sevilla
  • Previous club(s) – Girondins de Bordeaux
  • Value – £45m
  • Strengths – Pace, Aerial Ability, Composure

Ibrahima Konate:

  • Age – 21
  • Nationality – French
  • Current club – RB Leipzig
  • Previous club(s) – FC Sochaux, FC Paris Youth
  • Value – £31.5m
  • Strengths – Height, Tackling, Leadership

Nikola Milenkovic:

  • Age – 23
  • Nationality – Serbian
  • Current club – ACF Fiorentina
  • Previous club(s) – Partisan Belgrade, Teleoptik
  • Value – £25.2m
  • Strengths – Aerial Ability, Slide Tackling, Height

Raphael Varane:

  • Age – 27
  • Nationality – French
  • Current club – Real Madrid
  • Previous club(s) – RC Lens
  • Value – £63m
  • Strengths – Pace, Decision-Making, Composure


United have scored the most goals in the Premier League this season, with 53 goals to our name, one more than our rivals City.

Our performances up front do not kindly reflect this statistic. Marcus Rashford has had a great season so far but the likes of Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are yet to find the net regularly.

The introduction of Edinson Cavani has helped us accumulate 53 goals in 26 games. He has found the net on 6 occasions, scoring vital goals against Southampton, Everton and Fulham.As well as scoring goals himself, he will help develop the likes of Rashford, Greenwood and Amad into top-quality forwards.

Without consistency from our other forwards Greenwood and Martial, it has hindered the club’s progress in the league. The 19/20 campaign was a breakout season for our academy graduate Mason Greenwood. He scored 10 goals in 31 League appearances.

Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford celebrating Greenwood's long-range strike against Newcastle United
Our front three are yet to start firing on all cylinders this season. Source: 

Above all, United fans will be keen to see a striker signed in the summer that can score 30 goals a season consistently. The last United player to score 30 goals in a season was Robin Van Persie who helped United to their 20th League title.

I have mentioned United’s brilliant centre-backs. Similarly, United have had some of the best strikers in top-flight history. The likes of: Ruud van Nistlerooy, Robin van Persie, Denis Law, Eric Cantona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mark Hughes are the notable mentions.

Our top summer targets include:

Erling Haaland:

  • Age – 20
  • Nationality – Norwegian
  • Current club – Borussia Dortmund
  • Previous club(s) – RB Salzburg, FC Molde, FC Byrne
  • Value – £99m
  • Strengths – Pace, Finishing, Aerial Ability

Harry Kane:

  • Age – 27
  • Nationality – English
  • Current club – Tottenham Hotspur
  • Previous club(s) – Leicester City, Norwich City, Millwall, Leyton Orient
  • Value – £108m
  • Strengths – Finishing, Playmaking, Long Shots

Moussa Dembele:

  • Age – 24
  • Nationality – French
  • Current club – Athletico Madrid
  • Previous club(s) – Olympique Lyon, Celtic, Fulham, PSG
  • Value – £27m
  • Strengths – Dribbling, Passing, Aerial Threat


United’s current players who can play on the right are youngster Mason Greenwood and Daniel James. Although Marcus Rashford is able to play on the right-side, he is not nearly as comfortable as he is on the left or through the middle.

There is a need for a quick winger with excellent delivery into the box and quick feet to beat players for skill. In other words, United are desperate for a traditional winger.

Dan James at Old Trafford
Dan James has played predominantly on the right-wing this season. He has recently found a good run of form. Source: 

Similarly to our centre-backs and strikers, Manchester United have had some fantastic right-wingers play at Old Trafford. For instance; David Beckham, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo. This would be esteemed company if our next right-winger is able to find success at Manchester United.

Our top summer targets include:

Jadon Sancho:

  • Age – 20
  • Nationality – English
  • Current club – Borussia Dortmund
  • Previous club(s) – Manchester City, Watford
  • Value – £90m
  • Strengths – Skill, Finishing, Passing

Hirving Lozano:

  • Age – 25
  • Nationality – Mexican
  • Current club – Napoli
  • Previous club(s) – PSV Eindhoven, CF Pachuca
  • Value – £24.2m
  • Strengths – Pace, Versatility, Pressing

Federico Chiesa:

  • Age – 23
  • Nationality – Italian
  • Current club – Juventus
  • Previous club(s) – Fiorentina
  • Value – £43.2m
  • Strengths – Endurance, Crossing, Shooting

In Conclusion:

Manchester United will need to spend money in the summer transfer window if they are to challenge for the title next season. However, it is unsure what the effect of the COVID pandemic has had on the club’s finances, it is still imperative that fans can be allowed back into the grounds as soon as possible to help support the club.

It was announced that lockdown restrictions would end for fans to return in a limited capacity for the final weekend of the season. United will be away from home at Molineux, however this it will pave the way for fans returning in more capacity next season.

The positions of CB, RW and ST are essential positions and United will look to get top quality players from Europe in these positions. We are without a league title for 8 years. As a result, the players, coaching staff and fans are desperate to get their hands on the prized trophy.

Author: Ben Grenier

Aspiring sports journalist, Manchester United supporter. 18 years old taking my gap year, hoping to provide quality writing to gain experience. Twitter is @BrpGsports

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