By Sam Walsh
After finishing behind League Champions Manchester City on the Premier League log last season, Jose Mourinho and his men were rated highly, and the football World labeled them as major contenders for the title this season. Alas, the famous Red Devils have by all standards failed to live up to their bidding with three defeats and a draw in eight League games.
While pundits have blamed Mourinho for the current form of his team, he has in turn, tacitly blamed the dearth of quality players in his squad for his predicament. Although, United signed two outfield players including goalkeeper Lee Grants in the summer, the Portuguese manager has identified four players he could possibly sign in January, reports the Daily Mail.
Most clubs do not allow their best players to leave in January. Nonetheless, we take a swipe at two players that can improve Man United in January.
#1 Toby Alderweireld
United’s biggest strength last season was their defence. They conceded just one goal more (28) than League Champions Manchester City(27). 14 goals have been allowed in already this term, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly fingered for their cheerless form, particularly, against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Alderweireld was on the radar of United in the summer and they could attempt to bring him on board in January. The Belgian may have not reached an impasse over extending his contract with The Lilywhites, the London club are likely to allow him leave if the right offer is made for him. His current deal will expire next summer and if the North Londoners trigger his extension clause, it would concurrently activate a £25million release clause in the deal, a situation they want to avoid.
Known for his leadership and communication skill, the 29-year-old star would bring his experience and quality to United, apparently making that last formation line an impenetrable brick wall, if the Red Devils sign him.
#2 Nabil Fekir
Fekir is one of the key players for French club Lyon since breaking out into the senior side of the club in 2013.With former Manchester United star Memphis Depay and Mariano, they totaled a combination of 55 goals last season. He was close to joining Liverpool in the summer but for a failed medical that scuppered the move. His performance against Manchester City was very much noted as his side ran riot over the Citizens in a thrilling Champions League encounter.
Known for his ability to play behind the striker or any of the flanks, the 25-year-old star can help United retain possession and provide the creativity currently lacking in Mourinho’s setup. He is a free-kick specialist and a pass-master, who would make the attack of United potent with attackers like Sanchez and Lukaku playing with or in front of him.
Mourinho has a plethora of options upfront but Fekir would bring something different if he is signed in the winter.