Manchester United: Three areas to improve on during the summer transfer window

Asif Norat

With Manchester United currently sitting in fifth place within the league and in the quarter finals of the Europa League, Jose Mourinho will have already analysed the squad and will be working on which players he will buy and sell during the summer transfer window.

Although the aims that the Red Devils had set themselves at the start of the season have not been fulfilled, the side will be looking to finish the rest of the campaign on a high note by bringing back Champions League nights to Old Trafford next season.

On top of that, the current squad is not good enough to compete for the league title, so Mourinho will certainly be busy and productive once the campaign is over.

Here are the three areas that Manchester United need to improve on this summer…

Centre-back

As Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have picked up major injuries recently which will keep both of them on the sidelines for a month at least, the options available at centre-back are in general not good enough. Despite having the third best defence within the league, the rare errors from the backline have cost the side a few vital points at home.

Mourinho was reportedly looking for a centre-back throughout the transfer window in January, however, the rising partnership of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones stopped him from bringing in any new additions before deadline day. The pair continued their impressive form for a good run of games but due to injury problems and a few silly mistakes, the manager decided to re-introduce Smalling into the starting line-up.

Notable mention(s): Antonio Rudiger, Aymeric Laporte, Victor Lindelof.

Centre-midfield

In the centre of midfield, the pivot partnership of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba has been on-going since the early months of the campaign, with the former evolving into one of the side’s key players over the last 12 months whilst the latter is yet to show why he is worth every penny of the £89million fee that the Red Devils had paid him for.

Meanwhile, given that Morgan Schneiderlin and now Bastian Schweinsteiger have left Old Trafford as well as Michael Carrick’s contract coming to an end, Manchester United will surely be looking into the transfer market for an experienced midfielder. As Mourinho likes his midfielders to be physically built and defensively sound, it will be interesting to see who the Portuguese international will buy to partner Herrera and Pogba in a midfield three.

Notable mention(s): Tiemoue Bakayoko, Saul Niguez, Marcelo Brozovic.

Centre-forward

It is no secret that the Red Devils have been relying heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored 35% of the side’s goals within the league this season. If he hadn’t missed the simple chances here and there, the Swede would currently be the top goal-scorer in the Premier League. However, he is 35-years-old, Mourinho and his men cannot rely on an individual who will be retiring from professional football in a year’s time or so.

Also, considering the fact that the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have not replicated the impressive campaign that they had produced last year, signing an experienced and clinical forward should be one of the club’s main priorities over the next transfer window. Compared to the top half of the table, Manchester United have scored fewer goals than sixth-place Arsenal and seventh-place Everton.

Notable mention(s): Antoine Griezmann, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Romelu Lukaku.

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