Manchester United may have produced a spectacular comeback against Southhampton but they have been nowhere near good. Since Sir Alex left the club, United have never been the same.
Their best finish after Fergie’s retirement was in the 17/18 season when they came second under Jose Mourinho. After that it’s been a complete mess. Here are 3 things United need to do to gain back some of their long gone superiority.
1. FIND A FORMATION AND SORT OUT THEIR MIDFIELD:
When Donny Van De Beek arrived at Old Trafford in the summer all the fans were excited. But under Solksjaer De Beek has been somewhat of a bench warmer. He has come on to play the last hour or quarter of their PL fixtures. Paul Pogba hasn’t been anywhere near his best. Their only midfielder who has been firing is Bruno Fernandes. The best formation for the Red Devils right now will be a 4-1-2-1-2 – the diamond midfield. David De Gea will be in goal with a back four of Alex Telles, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The defensive midfielder can be either Nemanja Matic or Scott Mctominay. Solksjaer has loads of midfielders to choose from but the best pairing of central mids will be undoubtedly Pogba and Van De Beek. The number 10 role will be taken quite obviously by Bruno Fernandes. Solksjaer has a tough decision in selecting his strike duo. If he wants a counter attacking setup with high pace then the best double will be of Martial and Rashford. But if he wants a mixture of pace and strength he can go either with Rashford and Cavani or Martial and Cavani.
The selection of the strike duo may vary from game to game. But if Solksjaer wants a more defensive outlook he can go with a 4-2-2-2 where Pogba and Matic would be the two CDMs and Van De Beek advances into the role of an attacking midfielder alongside Bruno Fernandes. This formation gives Solksjaer loads of options to choose from in midfield and also allows for rotation as United have a host of midfielders available for selection.
2. HAVE A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER WINDOW:
For the last few seasons Manchester United‘s transfer business has been abysmal. They have brought and sold players without thinking about the future. Here are the best deals United could strike in the January window.
1.Luke Shaw: When Shaw was signed he was one of the best young full backs in the world but injuries have ruined his career. Now that Alex Telles has been signed and United have a more than able backup in the young Brandon Williams it maybe time for Luke Shaw to move on. It will be good for United as well as this sale could easily generate 15-20M.
2. Marcos Rojo: No one remembers when Marcos Rojo last played for Manchester United. He hasn’t even played for the Argentina national team after the 2018 World Cup. There have been rumours of him returning to Argentina as well. It would be great for both parties as Rojo could move to somewhere where he gets regular game time and United could also get a handy 5-6 million from the sale.
3. Daniel James: It would be great for James to move to a club from Manchester United where he gets regular game time otherwise it may restrict his development. It is not imperative for James to leave permanently. He could leave on loan for a season or half a season to get game time. It would also lessen some of Solksjaer’s selection headaches.
1. A Quality Right Winger: Manchester United spent the whole transfer window running behind Jadon Sancho but couldn’t strike a deal with Borussia Dortmund. It would be best for United to consider at alternatives. There are some great right wingers whom Manchester United can get for less than what they were splashing for Sancho. Adama Traore has been a consistent performer for Wolves in the past 2 seasons and he would be a great signing. Then there is Lucas Ocampos who has been rejuvenated after he signed for Sevilla. Both of them Manchester United can get for around 45-50 million and they would be great deals.
2. Milan Skriniar: Knowing Ed Woodward he will never sign Skriniar. But if mistakenly Woodward signs him it will be a huge boost to the Manchester United defence. Skriniar has caught the eye of some of Europe’s heavyweights but Inter would want a very good amount for the Slovak defender. Tottenham were also rumoured to be interested in the defender but were unwilling to pay Inter’s hefty asking price.
3. GET THE BEST OUT OF PAUL POGBA:
Pogba has had mixed success at Manchester United. When he came back in the 17/18 season. He was brilliant. But then he fell out with Jose Mourinho and his form went down. Again when Solkjaer first joined, Pogba was at his unbeatable best. Then an ankle injury, rumoured unhappiness all led to his form hit rock bottom.
Solksjaer has now started using Pogba as a deep lying playmaker where Pogba has been highly ineffective. In an interview Pogba himself said he isn’t effective as a deep lying playmaker but effective when playing as an advanced playmaker. Real Madrid and Juventus have been rumoured to have been interested in the Frenchman and Pogba has also expressed his likeness for Zinedine Zidane. If Pogba does leave it will be a huge loss for United and it should be prevented at all costs.
If Manchester United manages to do all these 3 things then we may well see them returning to their best very soon!