Manchester United find themselves in a better position than most this summer time. Of course, the coronavirus has impacted their funds, as with everybody else, but in phrases of bargaining energy within the transfer window, they’re in a comparatively comfy position.
This is one thing seen clearly with their pursuit of Jadon Sancho, who appears set to cost the club at least £120m.
In assault there may be clear need to reinforce. The players they have in these positions are among the many most interesting within the nation, but they can not be requested to play 60-odd games per season with out no less than some rotation. Don’t overlook – I do know it is arduous to – but Mason Greenwood is just 18 years old.
There is depth on this squad, little question, but is it the right depth? That’s one other kettle of fish.
Some areas, such as central midfield, appears pretty effectively stocked at present. Nemanja Matic signed a brand new deal, Fred was arguably the club’s best midfielder this season prior to Bruno Fernandes coming into the fray, while Scott McTominay continues to show signs of promise with every passing game, and Paul Pogba may be very clearly world class. In central midfield, they’ve got 5 strong choices. That’s not unhealthy. Not unhealthy in any respect.
Yet some of the perimeter players in different areas do not look up to scratch. At right-back, Timothy Fosu-Mensah would not scream ‘Manchester United high quality’. He had some first rate touches towards LASK, but ‘some first rate touches’ towards the Austrian side – no disrespect to them – is not the extent required.
Then there may be Diogo Dalot, who remains on the club on the periphery of the first workforce. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has the position nailed down, and he hasn’t been given the minutes to show his worth.
Across the defence there may be Brandon Williams. Of all of the first workforce players, you possibly can argue he appears closest to difficult for a starting position. The local lad put in one other good shift at Old Trafford – in a colorless affair – but is rising in confidence and is on course to have a fruitful career together with his boyhood club. A brand new four-year deal is proof of the arrogance in him.
In central defence, nevertheless, there are some issues. Again, numbers clever, United are fantastic. Quality clever, there are issues. Injuries meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arms had been tied for Wednesday night time, with Eric Bailly pressured to come in to the workforce. Victor Lindelof has blown cold and warm, but is not possible to go anyplace anytime quickly.
Behind them? Yeah, not nice. Chris Smalling is coming back but might be offered for a revenue. Phil Jones is, effectively, Phil Jones. Marcos Rojo needs shifting. Axel Tuanzebe can solely last so long before searching for regular football elsewhere. Solskjaer has players, but they don’t seem to be the best ones.
In forward areas, Juan Mata, for all his nice service and willingness, is not the player he once was. He looked off the tempo towards LASK, struggled together with his supply and could not affect proceedings within the right approach. A squad player for now, but an improve is required.
Jesse Lingard is nowhere close to the player we noticed head to Russia with England two years in the past. His contact is poor, his positioning off. For all his effort, he merely is not United high quality anymore. Against a LASK side with nothing to lose he got a goal when played clear by, but in any other case he was muscled off the ball or caught in possession. Tried his best but his days look numbered on the club.
The identical applies for Andreas Pereira. He was given a run within the workforce this season within the absence of Paul Pogba, but you would list the above to describe Lingard and simply replace the name. Try and try some more, but for what United are wanting to obtain, he’s not the man to assist them accomplish that.
Coming on to the precise match itself, from a basic perspective, it was very, very poor. In a way you’d assume that given the substantial lead United held over their opponents there could be a sure freedom to their play. Not the case.
Laboured, uninterested and ineffective, every part they tried to muster up within the final third trickled into the goalkeeper’s arms or went out for a goal kick. It wasn’t nice. Sorry, I’ll rephrase: it was dire.
Yet, there may be an air of, ‘yeah, so what?’ to the show.
Hardly any use over asserting your self and risking injury in a match you have no motive to go full pelt for. If there have been fans there then the case could be stronger, but they don’t seem to be within the stands. Worst comes to worst, simply flip the channel over.
United could have got themselves to this stage of the Europa League with the same side to what we noticed at Old Trafford, but the very fact is that this: a rotated Man Utd side at present is not a great Man Utd side. Reinforcements are wanted to make sure that that is not the case for much longer.