Manchester United Transfer Targets to get back to the top

After a disastrous start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, it is already clear that Manchester United’s first team and squad lacks both top quality and depth. The biggest issue I see with the squad is the lack of great and world class players in the starting XI and the fact that players such as Pereira, Lingard and Greenwood are being relied upon when they are simply either not good enough or too inexperienced at this point in time. However, if we focus on 5 or 6 top tier starting XI signings and demote some of out current starters to squad players, I think we will find ourselves in a far better situation and our squad depth is not as big an issue as the lack of starting XI quality. Naturally, alongside the speculation of transfer targets, there will also be speculation around the future of Solskjaer, the board and the owners, however, in this article I want to purely focus on the players that I believe Manchester United should target if they really want to start getting anywhere near the top of the Premier League over the next few seasons and push the rest of the problems to the side for now (providing we avoid relegation this season…). 

I have identified 5 positions that I see as absolutely essential positions to make a top tier signing in. Those are: ST, CAM, CM, LB and RW. An additional desirable signing would be another CB as an upgrade on Lindelof, but I think our main attention should be channeled towards the initial 5 positions put forward.

Let’s take a look at some names we should be targeting and whether it is more likely that we are able to sign them in January or in the summer of 2020: 

Striker

Image Credit: Lequipe.fr

Name: Moussa Dembele 

Age: 23

Club: Lyon 

Selected Stats: 6 goals in 8 Ligue 1 apps (2019/20)

Play Style: Mix of both back to goal hold-up play and running in behind, good finisher.

Estimated Price: £60 million

Verdict: A possibility in January 

Image Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Name: Mario Mandzukic

Age: 33

Club: Juventus  

Selected Stats: 117 goals in 269 apps as a centre-forward, hasn’t played a single minute for Juventus this season, so a move away may be appealing. 

Play Style: Target man, key qualities are heading ability, hold-up play, strength and flick-ons.

Estimated Price: £18 million

Verdict: Likely, January 

Image Credit: express.co.uk

Name: Timo Werner

Age: 23

Club: RB Leipzig 

Selected Stats: 7 goals in 9 Bundesliga + Champions League apps (2019/20), 16 goals and 9 assists in 30 Bundesliga apps (2018/19). 

Play Style: Quick, especially suited to counter-attacking play, good finisher.

Estimated Price: £50 million

Verdict: A possibility in January

Image Credit: uk.sports.yahoo.com

Name: Erling Braut Haaland

Age: 19

Club: RB Salzburg

Selelcted Stats: 18 goals and 5 assists in 11 apps in all competitions (2019/20).

Play Style: Built like a target man, however excels in finding spaces between CB’s and running in behind using pace and power to fend off opposition, likes to drive at and past opponent with the ball.

Estimated Price: £40 million

Verdict: Probably more likely to join Leipzig at this stage in his career 

Attacking Midfielder

Image Credit: mirror.co.uk

Name: James Maddison

Age: 22

Club: Leicester City

Selected Stats: Created the most chances in the Premier League 2018/19.

Play Style: Creative midfielder, very strong set-piece, crossing and ball retention ability.

Estimated Price: £90 million

Verdict: Summer 

Image Credit: en.as.com

Name: Bruno Fernandes 

Age: 25

Club: Sporting CP

Selected Stats: 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 apps (2018/19).

Play Style: Offers goals threat and creativity, fantastic short and long passing, crossing, dribbling and vision, likes to shoot, as close to the perfect attacking midfielder you will find.

Estimated Price: £75 million

Verdict: Summer, unlikely 

Central Midfielder

Image Credit: joe.co.uk

Name: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 

Age: 24

Club: Lazio  

Play Style: Complete midfielder combining both defensive and attacking qualities, can be utilised as an 8, 10 or 6, best as a box-to-box ‘8’, powerhouse.

Estimated Price: £85 million

Verdict: Summer 

Image Credit: premierleague.com

Name: John McGinn

Age: 24

Club: Aston Villa

Play Style: All-round midfielder, likes to dribble and dictate the team’s play with a mixture of short and long passes, contributes in attack with runs into the box as well as creating chances for teammates. 

Estimated Price: £40 million

Verdict: Summer

Left-Back

Image Credit: leicestermercury.co.uk

Name: Ben Chilwell 

Age: 22

Club: Leicester City 

Play Style: Equal contribution to defence and attack, likes quick combination passes with midfielders, likes to cross along the ground, very good at winning aerial duels.

Estimated Price: £45 million

Verdict: Summer, transfer battle with Chelsea likely

Image Credit: premierleague.co.uk

Name: Lucas Digne

Age: 26

Club: Everton

Play Style: Very attack minded, fantastic crossing and set-piece ability.

Estimated Price: £45 million

Verdict: Summer, unlikely 

Image Credit: sport360.com

Name: Alejandro “Alex” Grimaldo  

Age: 24

Club: Benfica

Play Style: Best quality is his passing ability, also strong at retaining possession, dribbling and crossing.

Estimated Price: £30 million

Verdict: Summer

Right-Wing 

Image Credit: standard.co.uk

Name: Jadon Sancho

Age: 19

Club: Borussia Dortmund 

Selected Stats: 12 goals and 17 assists in 34 Bundesliga apps (2018/19).

Play Style: Key traits are dribbling and passing, combines being a creative player with being a more than competent finisher.

Estimated Price: £100 million

Verdict: Summer

Written by Nick Pasquet

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nick_FootballPA

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