The remaining transfers Man United should complete following Jadon Sancho arrival in order to challenge for Premier League
- Premier League
- Hits: 156
Manchester United have had a superb start to the 2021 summer transfer window.
The Euros may not be over yet, but United have already secured a huge, big-money deal. The Red Devils would confirm earlier this week that they had agreed a deal in principal with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho.
We have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of Jadon Sancho to United! ⚪⚫#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 1, 2021
Said transfer will reportedly set Man United back £73m, making Sancho United’s third-most expensive player behind Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire.
Sancho had been lighting up the German top-flight since he departed Manchester City in 2017 and has scored 50 goals and provided 64 assists in 137 outings for BVB.
What areas should Man United target?
Sancho’s arrival marks a great bit of business for United, and a big blow to the rest of the Premier League as the winger will most certainly strengthen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next season.
But, whilst Sancho is, of course, a great addition to United’s squad, it is still quite clear they need to improve in several more areas in their squad.
In this article 101 take a look at the remaining positions United should look to target in the current summer transfer window in order to truly challenge the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool for the Premier League title in 2021/22.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 18: Mason Greenwood of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on April 18, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Do Man United need a striker?
Throughout much of the 2020/21 campaign, a case could certainly be made that Man United needed some fresh legs at centre-forward.
Anthony Martial, before his injury which ruled him out of the end of the campaign and Euro 2020, was proving that he is not cut out to be the main no.9 at a top, top club.
So, when the summer window rolled around, the Man United faithful were no doubt hoping to see a significant amount of money spent on improving their centre-forwards.
However, the sitution at Old Trafford has since changed to now perhaps suggest that centre-forward is not currently a priority position for United.
The first thing to have changed surrounds Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan struggled for fitness during the first half of 2020/21. However, the 34 would begin to find both form and fitness as the campaign wore on and finished the seaosn looking back to his scintillating best.
Cavani then agreed to stay on at United for the forthcoming campaign. And whilst Cavani, who is in the twilight of his career, cannot play every single game for United next term, Solskjaer does have another promising striking option to call upon next season.
That man is Mason Greenwood who, like Cavani, had a superb end to the season just gone. Greenwood, due to United’s lack of quality on the right, had often been forced to play in that role over the last two campaigns.
However, with Sancho now on United’s books, Greenwood can finally be used as a centre-forward on a more frequent basis, providing an excellent back-up option to Cavani and really decreasing United’s needs for a new striker this summer.
Will the Manchester powerhouse need to invest up top next year when Cavani leaves? Probably, but for now it is not currently a priority area.
Midfield a concern for United
An are Manchester United should actually strengthen in this summer, however, is defensive midfield.
It has been clear for a while now that the Reds need reinforcements in midfield.
Nemanja Matic is now past his best, leaving United without a quality defensive midfielder.
This has led Solskjaer to start both Scott McTominay and Fred in a midfield pivot.
Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred gestures during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
However, this selection creates a number of problems, forcing Paul Pogba to be played out of position
Even more concerning, though, is the fact that, even when Fred and McTominay start together, United’s midfield can still look shaky at times.
As a result, a young, no.6 style player should be brought in this summer in order to both help United’s defence and also allow Solskjaer to field both Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same midfield three.
One player who could fit this role and has previously been by 101 as a player United should target is Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria.
Yves Bissouma, currently of Brighton, would also likely fill this role well for Man United.
Lindelof replacement needed
The next position Man United should strengthen in following Sancho’s signing is a pretty obvious one to those who are regular watches for United.
Outside of Harry Maguire, Man United’s centre-back options are severely lacking.
Victor Lindelof is Maguire’s current partner, but it is pretty obvious that the Swede should not be a regular starter in a team that want to win the Premier League.
Eric Bailly is also an option, but his horrid injury record means he never really earns a regular run of games to build form and fitness.
So, it is pretty apparent that Man United should be signing a centre-back this summer.
One option, who has been heavily with the Reds of late, is Real Madrid and France star, Raphael Varane.
Varane would bring a wealth of experience and quality to United’s backline and, along with Sancho and a no.6, could see United in possession of one of the best starting eleven’s in the Premier League.