Do Manchester United Need A Signing in January To Strengthen Their Title And European Challenges?

Posted: September 29, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion
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José Mourinho, if asked what he needed would probably say; two things. One would be an injury-free run of games with the best players being available and where points could continue to be collected.

The second would be the fourth signing Ed Woodward failed to secure in the Summer transfer window.

Having signed Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matić, Mourinho wanted one more player.

At the time, that player was Ivan Perišić of Inter Milan but Inter stood firm on their valuation and, having requested Anthony Martial on loan and been refused, the deal didn’t happen. Perišić has since signed a new contract with an “anti-United” clause in it and is said to be very happy, just like Virgil van Dijk and Philippe Coutinho!

The fact that the transfer didn’t materialise is a little strange given that United came pretty close to offering the asking price but wouldn’t stump up an extra couple of million to push the deal over the line. When considering how much they paid for Lukaku and Matić, there was no reason to suppose that the deal for Perišić wouldn’t go through. But, that’s Ed Woodward for you! Overpays by £4 million for Fellaini but won’t pay the going rate for a player his manager clearly wanted.

That ship has now sailed and attention in January will probably return to Antoine Griezmann. If this is a signing which can be made in January then there is one small problem. Griezmann would not be able to play in the Champion’s League as he is cup-tied. This may not, however, be a problem for the player if Atlético don’t make it through the group stage as he won’t be playing in the competition anyway.

It would be a problem for United as any signing made in January should be with a view to strengthening the squad for just such a competition. It may well be that they will wait until next Summer to buy him.

If that is the case is there anybody they could buy in January who could both improve the squad AND play in the Champion’s League? The answer to that one is probably no.

The likes of Gareth Bale and Thomas Lemar of Real Madrid and Monaco respectively, have already played in the Champion’s League, while another prospect, Tottenham’s Danny Rose would fit the bill but is injured and may not even be fit by January.

A strong possibility would be Malcom, who currently plays for Bordeaux. His team qualified for the Europa League so he would not be cup-tied as United haven’t played in that competition this season and Bordeaux haven’t played in the Champion’s League qualifiers earlier on.

Under UEFA rules one player can be signed under the aforementioned circumstances and Malcom, despite having just signed a contract extension with Bordeaux, may very well fit the bill. (A contract extension generally guarantees that the selling club can hold out for more money for longer, not that they will be able to keep the player).

If nobody is signed it will not be the end of the world. United are dealing very well with injuries to Pogba, Jones, Fellaini, Carrick and Shaw. Their other long term crock is also likely to return around January so would be a little like a new signing.

Granted, Zlatan won’t be tearing down either of the wings and using his lightning pace to streak past bamboozled defenders, but he will add experience to the team both on and off the field.

So, if needs be, United should be able to win a trophy or two without adding to their current squad. We shall see.

For any Arsenal fans reading this, and there are one or two of them with masochistic tendencies, a change of manager is the only way you are going to be challenging for a major trophy again.

Stubborn old man will sit in his ivory tower until he is forcibly removed. Meanwhile, a great club is going further and further backwards, a fact which will be proven absolutely if both Sánchez and Özil leave in the near future.

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Comments
  1. Collin Tan says:

    YES….can still have dealings for 2 Arsenal players in the winter transfer, one Chilean and one German. All know who they are. Then ManU can fight for all trophies.

    Like

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