What have Manchester United done to their squad this summer? After months of being linked with everyone under the sun, the Red Devils signed just one of their so-called “major” transfer targets. Harry Maguire became yet another expensive centre-back in the long line of expensive centre-backs to recently join the club.
However, the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paulo Dybala did not show up at Old Trafford. In Dybala’s case, his desire to not play for Manchester United was so strong that he priced himself out of a move to the club.
Manchester United get Harry Maguire but lose Romelu Lukaku
Ed Woodward’s failure to find a striker to take the place of the outgoing Romelu Lukaku was the worst move, or non-move, of the Premier League transfer market. Forget Maguire’s addition. Selling Lukaku and not having a replacement was downright stupid.
-money is available for the right players
-Greenwood should be ready for a major task 'lukaku replacement'
-Sanchez will score goals
-Apart from Young their are several captain options
-Pogba has been fantastic
-OGS supports VAR #MUFC #GGMU pic.twitter.com/lWc5mZX7aH
— MUFC (@punditlanguage) August 9, 2019
Manchester United had been linked with Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic after previous links had them tied to Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder. The Manduzkic transfer seemed silly. The Red Devils were ready to pin their hopes on a 33-year-old striker who scored nine Serie A goals last season.
Is Marcus Rashford a No. 9 answer?
Marcus Rashford, the man who will assume the No. 9 role, tallied 10 in the Premier League alone in 2018-19. Now as the go-to scorer, the English media will get to see their wishes come true with Rashford leading the line. They will also most likely see him suffer injuries and misfire in front of goal as the team depends on him more than ever.
Asked Solskjaer whether #mufc are satisfied with not signing a replacement for Lukaku: 'Mason Greenwood's pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course, if we had another forward there.'
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 9, 2019
Rashford is Manchester United’s only experienced player of truly playing the No. 9 role. Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, and Anthony Martial could play as secondary strikers if Solskjaer favours a two-man attack.
But what happens if Rashford suffers an injury or is out of form? Who moves into the No. 9 position? Unproven youngster Mason Greenwood?
Solskjaer on Rashford and Martial replacing Lukaku’s goals, “Rom is one of the top 9s around when you want to play with that kind of striker, but I’m confident we’ll get goals from Martial and Rashford. We have a very different attacking setup this season.”
— Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) August 9, 2019
Looking at Manchester United’s squad, it appears Solskjaer will play the kids in the Europa League. On the surface, it feels like Manchester United are ready to sacrifice the competition.
Is Harry Maguire enough to improve the defence?
The Red Devils are no better today than they were at the end of last season. Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka can only do so much. If Manchester United’s defence doesn’t have a strong midfield in front of it and lacks forwards to track back, it will concede 54 or more goals once again this term.
Solskjær insists he did have more money to spend – and it was his decision to rein in transfers to avoid mistakes of the past.
Sticking to the mantra of needing the right targets.
Commendable – but still leaves United light in midfield and up front #MUFC
— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) August 9, 2019
David De Gea is coming off of his worst season at Old Trafford. Even with Maguire in front of him, there is no guarantee he will be any better.
The goalkeeper is in the last season of his Manchester United contract and will most likely walk away for free next summer. His contract saga is another case of poor management by the Red Devils. De Gea could be motivated to play well as he will be a free agent in 10 months. On the other hand, he could lack desire knowing he will be leaving.
One source says Solskjær launched a 'brutal' verbal attack on Romelu Lukaku last week for revealing confidential details of a sprint test. Luke Shaw complained #mulive [times]
— utdreport (@utdreport) August 9, 2019
Add in Manchester United’s Europa League campaign and their inability to add a striker, or keep Lukaku, is even more foolish. By the time the January transfer window opens and Manchester United are held over a barrel by another club as they negotiate the purchase of a striker, their season could be over.
Where’s the sporting director supporters were promised?
Manchester United were supposed to find a technical director/sporting director to sort out transfers. Yet, Woodward, who seems to know little to nothing about organising a team, has once again handled the Red Devils’ transfers and done poorly at it.
Regardless if Manchester United defeat Chelsea at the weekend — they have a new manager and coming off a transfer ban — the Red Devils’ squad is broken. Can they limp to the next transfer window and still be in contention for the Premier League title and Europa League trophy? It seems farfetched to believe they can.
Maguire and Wan-Bissaka cannot do everything for Manchester United this season.