Manchester United have surely enjoyed a successful debut season under Erik ten Haag by any measure. Not only have they attained the Dutchman’s first piece of silverware in the shape of the League Cup, but they also reached the final of the FA Cup and secured Champions League football for the season ahead.
However, the next step for the manager and for the club must be to challenge for the most coveted domestic prize: the Premier League title. Fortunately for Utd fans, they’re already blessed with a talented squad with decent depth, but in order to really push their rivals they need to beef things up further. Here are the players we think they’re missing in order to trouble the top of the tree.
It speaks volumes that in a season in which Tottenham Hotspur have seemingly lurched from one disaster to the next, talismanic striker Harry Kane has still managed to find the net 30 times in the league. Utd have been crying out for a top-class centre forward for years and Kane fits that bill, with his goals just one facet of his incredibly versatile game. With just one year left on his contract, Spurs are likely to accept a bid of £100 million or more and though he’s now the wrong side of 30, Kane still has plenty to offer for few seasons more.
As well as sorting out the striker conundrum for the here and now, it would make sense for Utd to put in place a succession plan up top, too. Brighton’s Evan Ferguson could be the perfect heir to Kane, having scored several important goals for the south coast club in his breakout season already. The Northern Irishman is still young enough to develop into one of the division’s outstanding talents but old enough to fill Kane’s boots when rest and rotation are required. Again, he won’t come cheap, but Utd can afford him and should bite the bullet.
With both previous suggestions costing a pretty penny, Utd could save some cash by scooping up Youri Tielemans on a free. The midfield maestro would provide stiff competition for Christian Eriksen and his ability to read the game, pick a pass and, yes, score the occasional screamer would go down a treat at Old Trafford. He’s no spring chicken but is still young enough to provide the impetus of Utd’s midfield for years to come and would surely jump at the chance to play Champions League football and compete for the game’s biggest trophies.
Central defence must be another area of concern for ten Haag this summer. Raphael Varane looks to be finally living up to his reputation (and his price tag!) and Victor Lindelof has been a solid stand-in, but Harry Maguire’s days are surely numbered in a Utd shirt. With that in mind, Utd should go all out to acquire Alessandro Bastoni from Inter Milan. The perfect mix of experience and potential, Bastoni has been an assured presence at the back for the Nerazzurri this year and alongside Varane, he could form an elite partnership for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? Will Man Utd sign the above players? If they do, can they challenge for the top honours next season? And how will their players perform on the international stage? Put your money where your mouth is with a cheeky flutter at https://sportsbet.io/sports/soccer/international/outrights to get the best odds and offers.