Transfer deadline day is fast approaching. It does not seem at this point as though Manchester United are poised to move, and that’s a shame.
The club got a real wake-up call last night. Last season a 2-0 home loss to Burnley sparked late transfer activity. It remains to be seen if the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United has the same galvanising effect.
The result highlighted deficiencies in the squad we know exist, and had hoped would not need addressing urgently.
United have a big squad, but is the sufficient quality really there? This was the type of game which showed that serious upgrades are needed.
There are three glaring positions United need to improve, which were shown up last night…
Manchester United should be able to rest 33-year-old Edinson Cavani without witnessing a serious downgrade and seeing the team suffer.
Anthony Martial has gone backwards to the point where wonder how much longer it can be tolerated.
To score just two Premier League goals in a season from 16 league is an embarrassing return.
Out on the left he has offered nothing when he has been shifted out there, and you have to wonder how much of a future Martial has at the club when he plays like this.
This is a position where United now have to be looking to upgrade. Cavani is only a short-term solution and Martial is running out of chances.
Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba will occasionally run into a brick wall. United need other creative options.
Not having a winger who could take players on and change the game, creating space, was a big detriment.
Amad Diallo is the future. But he’s obviously not ready now, because he was not even in the squad last night.
The result may accelerate his promotion to the first team, but there’s a lot of pressure on him.
Having a winger who is able to contribute right now, play every week, and change games, would make a big difference.
One of the arguments against signing a centre-back has been that Axel Tuanzebe could step up.
Last night was a sign that he can’t. While he was excellent against PSG, he has struggled since then, and looked out of his depth last night.
Tuanzebe is 23 now, and has to start improving and dominating games, making decisive actions. With Eric Bailly picking up another injury before the game, last night highlighted that United’s options are not so strong.
This has been a position United have needed to upgrade for a while. This game has moved it closer and Solskjaer has to be ruthless.
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