Manchester United’s Transfer Business Is Underwhelming But Vital

Manchester United’s Transfer Business Is Underwhelming But Vital
Jun 30, 2017

Featured Manchester United

Across Manchester at the Etihad Campus, Pep Guardiola is adding to his plethora of attacking talent. The exciting young Portuguese winger Bernardo Silva has joined from AS Monaco to swell Manchester City’s attacking ranks, a player who was linked with Manchester United but ultimately the Old Trafford club were either not interested in the player or were on the end of a snub from the 22-year-old.

The likes of Alexis Sánchez, Ousmane Dembélé and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked with Guardiola’s team.Even if one of those names moves to the Etihad, Manchester United fans will be left looking on with a great degree of envy. Considering the likes of Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bryune, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané, Jesus and Bernardo Silva are already at the club, however, City’s weakness last season was not the attack, it was the defence.

Looking at the attacking ranks of Manchester City alone, it makes them considerable favourites to win the Premier League title, but can Pep Guardiola’s all out total football work over the course of an entire season?

Meanwhile, José Mourinho is working at Manchester United to address weaknesses across his team and squad. Rather than swelling his attacking ranks like his opposite number across Manchester, Mourinho is aiming to build a balanced, adaptable team to deal with the challenges of individual games over a season. The great Premier League winning teams of the past such as Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United sides, along with José Mourinho’s and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea teams have all been adaptable and often functional.

A Premier League season is a long, hard campaign and all out attacking idealistic teams get found out. Let’s not forget the Liverpool team of 2013 who had no plan B and ultimately let the title slip due to lack of balance in their team and playing style. José Mourinho knows what it takes to win a Premier League title.

Firstly, the defence needed strengthening with questions over the abilities of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, with Victor Lindelöf being Mourinho’s first addition. Lindelof, a cultured ball-playing central defender, is a proven winner with Benfica and would appear to be the perfect partner for Eric Bailly at the heart of United’s defence. A much-needed addition to the squad and indeed the starting line-up to give the stability and certainty to the line up in the bid to end that Premier League title drought.

Manchester United have been linked with Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matić and look set to complete the signing before the start of pre-season. Last season, Mourinho had to rely on veteran Michael Carrick in the defensive midfield role with no other options available. The addition of Matić provides United much-needed strength in the midfield area in front of the back-line to provide a shield and to give balance to the side, enabling greater freedom to the attacking players. It is not the signing most fans would want, however, it is one that United need to get the best out of Paul Pogba. The Mourinho blueprint will lead Manchester United to the title and Matić is a vital cog to that. It may not be an exciting signing but winning the Premier League will be exciting.

The big question of the Summer has been how can Manchester United replace Zlatan Ibrahimović. To replace a 28-goal contribution is a momentous task, but let’s not forget Zlatan did have a negative impact on the overall style of play of the team. Often Ibrahimović was a bit of a hindrance as he slowed down the teams play and offered little mobility, despite that incredible goal record.

The man Mourinho has chosen to lead the line appears to be Álvaro Morata of Real Madrid. A player Mourinho knows very well from his time at Real Madrid, Morata is an excellent goal scorer, scoring 20 goals last season despite being one of the backup players at Real Madrid.

The mobility of Morata will give Mourinho’s team greater effectiveness on the counter-attack and will make United much less static upfront, which will only help the other attacking players in the team.  As well as that increased mobility, Morata is excellent in the air, making him perfectly suited to the Premier League, meaning he could be a star of the upcoming season. A potential signing that once again shows José Mourinho is the man on the ball and is actually addressing the weaknesses in his side to improve, rather than making needless glamorous luxury signings.

The players Mourinho is targeting to bring to Old Trafford may not be the most glamorous, but they are ones that address the problems in the team that we saw last season. They are players that bring a greater balance to the starting line-up and get the best out of the players already at the club that struggled last season. They are additions that give United the Mourinho blueprint, and the blueprint to go on and win the Premier League title.

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