2 – Will The Other Five Get Nearer To City Next Season? (Part Two – Manchester United And Tottenham Hotspur)

Posted: January 21, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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Yesterday we decided the futures of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool coming to the conclusion that Liverpool, currently, are best equipped of the three to challenge Manchester City at the very top of the Premier League.

Today we look at the credentials of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and whether or not they can provide a more serious challenge next season.

680  Manchester United

Assuming that, at some stage this year, the Alexis Sánchez deal goes through then his signing will, almost single-handedly, make United contenders for most trophies next time round.

LS

Luke Shaw – Back in regular first team action

They still need to strengthen in defence although this is not now quite as urgent as it was due to the return to full fitness and form of Luke Shaw.

We still think Antonio Valencia is a winger, not a full back, and his occasional woeful attempts at defending tend to prove our point, so it would be a good investment to buy a specialist defender for this position but, as we said, it is not a priority.

Assuming that Matteo Darmian is sold at some point in the near future then back-ups are definitely required in BOTH full-back positions. (Ashley Young cannot be considered a full-back).

Central defence is not now the problem it once was and, in fact, the quality of the currently available players means that Donkey Smalling could be sold.

Consequently, one signing could automatically increase United’s chances of catching City so all Ed Woodward needs to do is ensure that it happens. Easier said than done when “Wooden Ed” is involved.

728  Tottenham Hotspur

Rumour has it that Spurs may actually be interested in buying a player this January. Who might that be, you may well ask?

LM

Lucas Moura – On the radar?

Well, Lucas Moura wants to leave PSG and join Manchester United. José Mourinho would prefer Alexis Sánchez and certainly doesn’t want both. As the Sánchez deal is likely to happen that leaves Moura needing to find a second choice club. How does he solve this dilemma? Easy, he waits to see who expresses an interest in him and then declares that they were always his FIRST choice.

His addition, along with the earlier one of Serge Aurier will not make Spurs contenders next season, particularly as they are always likely to lose one of their stars due to Daniel Levy’s archaic pay structure.

They are also very reliant on Harry Kane scoring the vast majority of their goals and, while this is the case, could seriously struggle if he ever suffers a long-term injury as Fernando Llorente is good, but not THAT good!

Without a couple of top quality additions Spurs will remain top four contenders but nothing more and this giddy height has only been reached because of their manager and Kane, nothing else.

679  Manchester City

We had to save the best until last and look at what City need to do to stay ahead of the rest. It is well known that standing still is the equivalent to going backwards in this day and age so Pep, despite all he may win this season, needs to improve next, purely because some of the competition will improve.

His failure to land Alexis Sánchez should not have any effect on the club whatsoever as scoring and creating goals is not a problem.

City still don’t defend very well but this is currently masked by the fact that the opposition don’t have the ball often enough to mount many attacks.

A central defender would be worth the investment with Vincent Kompany now permanently being treated for something or other and Eliaquim Mangala not very reliable.

IM

Iñigo Martinez – Could be on the move to Manchester

This, of course, leaves only John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi so signing Jonny Evans or Iñigo Martinez would make sense.

In conclusion, all five of the top six teams wishing to overthrow City need to improve, some more so than others. Some will do so and some won’t. The problem they face is that City only need to tweak a couple of things and they will remain better than the rest

Factoring in the unknowns, such as who will be the Chelsea manager or if Wenger will see out his contract next season, promises little change in the top six except maybe Everton replacing Arsenal, Chelsea slipping down a touch and Spurs treading water.

We will see, probably.

 

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