Whilst many may be talking about giving this United team an overhaul the reality is that a single window is never going to be enough to deal with something like that. The key for Ten Hag this summer will be about ending out toxicity and aging players, kicking out the money grabbers and trying to lay down some cornerstones for this rebuild, focusing on building a solid spine.
If you check out the likes of this fantastic sportsbook you’ll see that United are around 25/1 to win the PL, and odds-on to finish 5th. This of course isn’t acceptable for any United outfit, and here is what we think needs to happen in order for Ten Hag to take us to at least 4th.
The Good News
Let’s start off with some positive news, and look at the players who have gone. Regardless of how these players may or may not done well for United, the reality is that we need space and we need to free up some cash from contracts. Already we know that Lingard, Mata, Pogba, Cavani and Matic are heading away on free transfers. We appreciate the service of some of those players but watching them go helps herald in a new era for the Red Devils.
Gary Neville makes a great point in saying that we don’t know what target areas are until we know who the manager likes, but the reality is that there are some clear areas where we need legs. Central midfield I think will be the most important area here, given that McTominay is the only senior player in that position. Additionally this team needs goals from somewhere, and they cannot just rely on a 37 year old CR7 to keep on delivering. If anything we need to limit Ronaldo’s minutes to be ready for the big games, and have a proven goalscorer in there when he’s out. Even if Ten Hag manages to get Rashford back to his best, it is likely that he’ll still be occupying the wings. This side needs a centre-forward more than ever before.
There is no doubt that the reason United have ended up with so much dead weight is that they continuously back any manager in charge. This is all well and good if you have faith in the man at the helm, but when you don’t the result is a hodgepodge of players from 3 or 4 different managerships. The general consensus is certainly that Ten Hag will be here for the long haul, but that doesn’t mean we should go out and buy 4/5 players in the first window. Ten Hag needs recruits but also will be charged with working with what he has, especially defensively — that’s what a manager is all about after all.
We don’t expect too much movement at United this summer, perhaps 3 big names coming in, and the perhaps only 2 more heading for the exit. Let’s try and learn from our mistakes and build slowly to get back on top.