Given that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s tenure at Old Trafford came to an end last month, signing a centre-forward of note was always going to be Manchester United’s main priority this summer.
In Romelu Lukaku, the Red Devils have landed a player that can become one of the world’s best and someone that has proven himself as a predatory force in the Premier League over recent seasons.
The deal is a testament to a feeling that United are once more ready to challenge for major silverware and restore their moniker as one of Europe’s most-feared teams.
Lukaku turned down a Chelsea return to sign for the Red Devils, despite having unfinished business at his former club, coining the reason that his new employers were the biggest football club in the world.
The money on offer to land the Belgium international, a reported £90 million, again shows United’s commitment to return to the glory years of Sir Alex Ferguson and put underachievement behind them.
The odds of the Old Trafford club becoming Premier League champions in 2017-18 are shortening, while fans wanting to wager that Jose Mourinho’s side will win the title can get their bonus code from here.
However, despite Lukaku’s addition joining Swedish defender Victor Lindelof as new faces in the United ranks, a number of things must happen for the Red Devils to be in the mix come next May.
Firstly, holding onto goalkeeper David De Gea, who continues to be linked with Real Madrid, is an absolute must.
While United have the spending power to replace the Spaniard with a star and have the very able Sergio Romero ready to deputise, losing De Gea would be a hammer blow.
In the past, the Manchester club have been forced into selling their star men if the Clasico sides come knocking, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Spain a classic example.
However, holding onto De Gea would be a message to Madrid and the rest of the world that United are ready to return to the pinnacle of the European game in 2017-18.
Secondly, while Mourinho’s squad is starting to really take shape, the Red Devils fans will surely hope for one or two more star names to complete the group.
The United boss seems to want a central midfielder to bolster his ranks, with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Tottenham’s Eric Dier said to be major targets.
Given that Michael Carrick is ageing, a new player in this position makes sense but it remains to be seen if United can convince one of their domestic rivals to sell.
Ivan Perisic is also a reported target, as Mourinho looks to add a genuine winger that will hug the touchline to his squad – something that is seemingly missing.
While the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have successfully operated from the flanks of late, signing a player that has consistently featured on the wing his whole career, like the Inter man, makes sense.
Mourinho’s first season in charge at United must be deemed a success, with two cups won and a Champions League return confirmed.
However, with the arrival of Lukaku and the expectation around Old Trafford, major silverware must be the goal in 2017-18.
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