While the Europa League is still to be concluded, the coming weeks are likely to be dominated by Manchester United’s transfer activity.
This window is a golden opportunity the club cannot waste, unlike the last time we qualified for the Champions League in 2018.
United need extra strength across the squad and it is important the board help manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer out.
Here is a look at five positions the club need to strenghen in the transfer window…
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. United do not have a natural winger who can play on the right at the level the team want.
Mason Greenwood has filled in here impressively, but his future posititon is likely to be as a centre-forward.
And in any case, Greenwood cannot be expected to start 50 or 60 games a season on right. United need options which are not Dan James, Juan Mata or Andreas Pereira.
The obvious name to target here is Jadon Sancho. But in the event United screw this one up and miss out, a back-up plan will be in place.
We saw the strain on Bruno Fernandes over the last few games as the quality of his passing often dipped along with his goal threat.
So United need to bring in potential alternatives to the Portuguese maestro.
This could be an expensive addition like Jack Grealish or a young prospect like Thiago Almada.
Either way United need to do something here, because if they do not, then they risk running Fernandes into the ground.
United’s dependence on Nemanja Matic has shown he does not trust Scott McTominay’s defensive discipline in the same role.
So United need to target a player who can ease the reliance on Matic.
A younger defensive midfielder should be a top priority, although at present its unclear if the club feel the same way.
There is an option to promote James Garner, and this may end up a position United address next summer instead, if they are not convinced the right player is available at the right price.
United’s defence has improved this season, yet there are still question marks as to whether Victor Lindelof is the right partner for Harry Maguire, especially after the FA Cup semi-final.
Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly have shown an inability to stay fit, and there are likely to be exits for Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones.
The Telegraph have reported United specifically wish to add a left-footed central defender to add balance.
The impressive rise of teenager Teden Mengi may convince United not to buy, along with renewed hope for Tuanzebe.
Yet if the club can find the right addition for under £35 million, then it is very possible they pay up.
United need to find a player capable of fulfilling the Marcus Rashford role.
Specifically this would be a player who can play as both a left winger and a striker if need be.
Rashford has been overplayed in recent weeks and his game has suffered for it. His back injury in January was a worst case scenario of what can happen if he is not given enough rest.
So United need to find a player who can switch in for him. It is possible this could be the same player who fulfils the Fernandes role, with Jack Grealish capable of doing both.
If not, then United need to look for a left winger who can operate as a striker, with Odion Ighalo’s loan set to expire in January.
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