Missing out on Erling Haaland was a blow for United. But you could have put prime Ruud van Nistelrooy up front for Manchester United last night and it would have made no difference.

Signing another striker is at this point a luxury. Signing a new midfielder is an absolute necessity.

Scott McTominay is out injured and may be out for eight weeks, The Mail report.

Paul Pogba may not even play again this season the way it is going, with BBC Sport reporting he may now have an operation on his ankle.

This leaves United running low on options in midfield. If anything happened to Fred, the team would be in crisis.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

And that’s a real risk, with Fred playing 90 minutes last night for the 14th consecutive Premier League game. The pressure on him is growing with Pogba and McTominay out.

(Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Current options limited

Alongside Fred, United are left with Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira and James Garner in midfield.

Then there is Dylan Levitt, and at a stretch, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who is nearly back from injury. But it shouldn’t come to that if United take action this month.

Of these only really Matic is proven at the top level in a central midfield role.

United need proven options, with Carabao Cup semi-finals against Manchester City, an FA Cup tie at Wolves, and a trip to Liverpool in the league upcoming this month.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Has to be urgent priority

It might have been a positive for United to be beaten by Arsenal to prevent a win papering over the cracks.

The transfer window is now open and it would be negligent for United not to sign a midfielder.

Really two midfielders are needed. One to play in central midfield and eventually replace Matic. A second is needed to create chances and take the number 10 role – limiting Jesse Lingard’s minutes.

A midfield of Fred and Nemanja Matic will get United wins at Burnley, but against top teams it is not enough.

Pogba and McTominay’s injury back United into a corner and Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer need to sign players.

There can be no excuses like ‘no value in the market’. or ‘the right players aren’t available’.

United need to be proactive, flash money around, and get players in to help.

Leaving the situation as it is does not give United a chance of finishing in the top four. And nor is it fair on players like Fred to expect them to perform miracles without help. It is risking further injuries.

Signing new midfielders is an absolute urgency. It would be negligent for United to do nothing.

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