Manchester United’s progression under Erik ten Hag this season has been impressive, but the Dutchman still has areas in his squad he needs to improve.
Signing a top-class striker is high on the agenda, while resolving the lack of a true leader in the middle of the pitch also needs addressing.
Signing Casemiro from Real Madrid has proved to be a shrewd move, giving United much-needed stability in the middle of the park.
The Brazilian bears many similarities to Roy Keane, particularly with regards to how the Irishman performed towards the end of the career.
However, United still lack someone in the mould of Paul Scholes – a player who can perform multiple roles and be a genuine leader on the pitch.
Scholes’ impact under Sir Alex Ferguson was immense and rightly garners regular praise from the players he faced regularly during his career.
Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva recently added his name to the list, singling out Scholes as the toughest player he faced in the Premier League.
“He was hard to play against because he played tough, but he was also a very smart, very intelligent player,” Silva told Betway. “You had to be smart when you played against him.
“It was great for me because when you play against tough opponents, intelligent opponents, they drive you to become a better player.
“You want to improve to be them, you want to improve to win against them, to win the tackles, to win the ball, to win the game.
“I’m fortunate enough to have played against those great players like Scholes and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
“They helped to improve my game because I had to push myself on a daily basis to face them at the weekend.
Silva’s comments undoubtedly provide Ten Hag with food for thought – how do you find a player who can replicate the role Scholes played for United?
With Jude Bellingham seemingly on his way to Real Madrid, the United manager will need to look elsewhere to resolve the issue.
Ryan Gravenberch leaps off the page as a potential option, especially with Ten Hag knowing the midfielder well from their time together at Ajax.
The 20-year-old has struggled to make an impression with Bayern Munich, but has the talent to sparkle in Ten Hag’s system.
Unfortunately for United, the Bundesliga giants are planning to hand Gravenberch a more prominent role next season, which could scupper their hopes of signing him.
A more viable option could be AC Milan star Sandro Tonali, who has previously been likened to Italian midfield legend Andrea Pirlo.
The 22-year-old reads the game extremely well and has a great range of passing. He is superb at breaking up play, but does need to add more goals to his game.
Several Premier League clubs have been linked with a move for Tonali and may well step up their interest if Milan fail qualify for the Premier League.
A £45 million fee could be enough to prise him away from Milan and would represent great value for United in the current inflated transfer market.
With his style of play bearing many similarities to Scholes in his pomp, Tonali could be the midfield jewel United need to take them to the next level.