A report emerged this week from the MEN claiming Manchester United are planning ahead for next summer’s transfers.
It is suggested next summer rather than January will be more active in terms of incomings, with next month most likely to be devoted to outgoings.
The report titled, ‘Manchester United target four signings to complete squad overhaul‘ has a familiar feel.
Indeed it is similar to one published in October 2019 by the MEN titled: ‘Manchester United target four signings in next two transfer windows.’
So this latest one feels like familiar spin, yet digging deeper, it can be argued United partly fulfilled some of the goals set out.
The 2019 article claimed United were targeting, “a full-back, a midfielder, a forward and a striker,” as the four signings.
It took a while, but United got close to delivering on this plan.
Alex Telles was signed at full-back, Donny van de Beek in midfield, and Edinson Cavani as striker.
United did not sign the described ‘forward’, hinting at a winger – but this disappointment is offset by Bruno Fernandes arrival instead, and he signed early in January too.
Failing to sign Erling Haaland in January was a setback which United did not have a real plan for. Edinson Cavani is a top quality alternative who was probably worth paying extra for at the time rather than waiting until October.
Nothing about the late deadline day swoop felt planned, so it is hard to give the club too much credit, even if they eventually delivered on a striker.
Verdict: United delivered on signing four big players, with Telles, Cavani, Van de Beek and Fernandes all strengthening the squad. A couple of young prospects were added too on the wing with Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo.
The transfer windows were torturous and frustrating at times, but United certainly managed to improve the squad, even if a couple of the players were not first choice.
Have faith for 2021
United delivering on the plan reported in October 2019 should provide some hope that the year ahead will also bring new additions too.
The latest report writes United are looking for: “a ready-made winger, a centre-back, a right-back and a defensive midfielder,” while conceding these moves will likely take place in the summer.
All of these positions have shown up as weaknesses in the current squad at various points this season, and should not go ignored.
Nemanja Matic’s step back in form has intensified the need for a defensive midfielder. The requirement for a top winger has not changed from 2019, and indeed further back.
A lack of competition in defence for Aaron Wan-Bissaka has led to the possible need for a right-back, along with Eric Bailly fading from view at centre-back.
All of these signings seem a long way off if they are to be only addressed in the summer, especially if United leave them until the last minute as usual. It would be helpful if at least one is signed in January.
Our message is that despite the frustrating way United conduct transfers, we should be optimistic that the squad building will continue in 2021 and the positions identified for strengthening will all be addressed, or close to it.
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