After a season without the Champions League, Louis van Gaal will be looking to strengthen his side. Read on for the lowdown on who Manchester United should be targeting this summer, as well as who they should sell. Here are three positions Louis van Gaal needs to improve, as well as the players that the club should sell this summer.
Due to many injuries within the defence and an inconsistent centre-back partnership, Manchester United must buy a centre-back. We need someone likely to be available for most games, and with plenty of experience at the top level. Only a few players come to mind – Nicolas Otamendi, Diego Godin and Mats Hummels. If one of those three players arrives at the club this summer, it will most definitely bring experience and leadership to the defence, which has been missing during the past twelve months.
Central Defensive Midfielder
As has been the case for many seasons now, most fans want the club to sign a defensive midfielder. Michael Carrick has missed many games this season and is also ageing fast. Manchester United should be targeting players like Morgan Schneiderlin, Ilkay Gundogan or Radja Nainggolan as potential candidates to replace Carrick this summer. Any of those players could be a suitable replacement for up to five years. Daley Blind is the only real other option in that role, but the Dutchman’s best position appears to be at left-back. When both players are out, it would mean that three to five players in the first-team would have to play in an unfamiliar position, preventing the team from playing with cohesion and style.
Manchester United’s strikers have not met the expectations of the fans this season. The fans haven’t been the only ones to moan about the amount of goals the strikers have scored – the manager himself believes he needs a twenty-goal striker.
League goals this season:
James Wilson – 1
Radamel Falcao – 3
Robin van Persie – 10
Wayne Rooney – 12
So that is a total of 26 league goals from five players. This seems embarrassing considering players like Sergio Agüero, Harry Kane and Diego Costa have scored at least 20 league goals each on their own. So Manchester United should consider looking at Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani or Gonzalo Higuaín this summer, especially with van Persie being courted by several clubs in Europe, especially the Serie A and Turkish leagues.
The Brazilian right-back has struggled to impose himself as a regular starter in Louis van Gaal’s first-team, so for the majority of the 2014-15 campaign, the Dutchman has utilised Antonio Valencia in a less-than-established, make-shift position, with the pacey Ecuadorian normally preferring to play on the wings. It’s a good time for both Rafael and the club to part in different ways – the club wants to move forward so they would need a right-back who is composed and has discipline in him. Also, Rafael is only 24 years old; he has a long career ahead of him, and hopefully he’ll be successful with whoever he joins.
Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are all ahead of the Northern Irishman in terms of first-team selection. It just has not been Jonny’s year this season, as he’s been poor in the majority of the matches he has played, has no confidence on the ball, looks tame when going into challenges, was given a six-match suspension for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse, and has been outshone by his younger compatriot Paddy McNair. The only reason Evans got to play was due to the fact that others weren’t available, as the majority of players were injured at different times throughout the camapaign. Otherwise, the player had no real first-team opportunities and it seems best if he leaves the club this summer and maybe goes to a mid-table team in the Premier League where he may get the chance to play matches week-in, week-out again.
Nani is the last player I think should leave this summer. The player, who has had a decent season on-loan at Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, will be back at Manchester United but will not be expected to play many games next season. The likes of Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Angel di María and new signing Memphis Depay would most definitely be ahead of him in terms of first-team plans. The 28-year-old, who is on around £120,000-a-week, shouldn’t be at the club anymore after failing to reach his potential a long time ago. He has had one or two good seasons at the club but after that, he just didn’t get into the team, which made him lose his confidence and his touch. He also lacks the tactical discipline that’s so important for Van Gaal.
Do you agree with the 3 players I think United should buy, and the 3 players I’d like to see the club sell? Share your thoughts in the comments below…