Manchester United have been the single-greatest football team in the Premier League era, however under new manager David Moyes the red devils have been subject to floods of criticism.
Sitting at 7th in the Premier League with only 2 wins in their last 6 and with some suggesting they won’t even make Europa League, Moyes has suffered the blame for his players’ poor performance.
However, when Sir Alex Ferguson retired, he left his replacement with a team littered with problems. Not only did Moyes have to cope with losing Paul Scholes’ influence but the 20-time champions have holes all over the pitch.
As with Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool, I believe that Moyes’ United is a two-year project. Rodgers ‘purposely’ dropped out of the Europa League spot last season to avoid the distraction of a competition some teams would rather not be in, and Moyes should do the same.
With Moyes reportedly planning an overhaul this summer, I look at who could come in and who could go out of United over the next 2 years.
I believe that United need to bring in:
2 holding midfielders
I believe that United need to incorporate some youth into the squad, with the average age of the starting XI in the 2-2 draw with Fulham being almost 29 years old, the aging United squad just isn’t good enough. Yes, there is Adnan Januzaj who has been integral to United this season, as well as the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Nick Powell and Jesse Lingard to return from their loan spells, however are these young guns good enough to lift United?
Urgent attention is not required here, as Anders Linegaard claims to be happy to fight for his place, but if United were to offload him, who should come in?
The Celtic shot-stopper has been immense in his last few seasons at the Scottish champions, and would definitely enjoy playing in the Premier League. The giant stands at 6’6″, and will be included in the England squad for Brazil. He may not want to sit on the bench behind De Gea, but a keeper of his talent could provide the competition the Spaniard needs to be great and, if not, Moyes could pull off a Hart/Pantilimon move in which he selects Forster ahead of De Gea in the hope that it will encourage the young Spain star to improve.
The young Southampton starlet has attracted interest from Chelsea, who currently sit top of the league after Eden Hazard’s dismantlement of Newcastle. The England under-21 star has already been subject to the praise of many, with some labeling him Ashley Cole’s replacement in the future England squads. Although it may cost in excess of £20m to pry Shaw away from the Saints, the youngster is surely going to go on to be one of England’s best ever left-backs.
The Porto centre-back has already been inquired about by United, as well as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. The 22-year-old has 23 appearances for the French under-21 side, and has also been capped by the senior squad. However, the Porto rock could cost United over £25m, possibly even more if City or Chelsea plan to splash the cash of their mega-rich owners.
The 26-year-old Chilean has also been linked with United on a number of occasions, and the Juventus star could be just what the Red Devils need to hold their team together in the centre of the pitch. A cheaper option to re-signing Paul Pogba, Vidal could well be one of the best midfielders in Serie A, and could fancy his chances in England. However, with Juventus keen to hang onto him, Vidal could cost United over £30m, and without Champions League football it could be an impossible task to convince him to leave Juventus.
Another player who has been linked with big-money moves, the England starlet could be the young, creative link between midfield and attack that the Old Trafford side need to come good once again. Barkley has bags of talent and will no-doubt be in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad in Brazil, where he could prove himself to be one of England’s best players.
With Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha hoping to be the stars on the flanks, as well as Juan Mata being able to operate out wide, this position does not need to be urgently looked at, but it would be in United’s best interests to snap up Adam Lallana, who was recently called up to the England side along with Barkley. The Saints captain is still young, at 25 year old, the Winger could provide a slightly different option to the pacey and skillful Januzaj and Zaha.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Van Persie is an amazing striker, being the top goalscorer in the league in his first season at United. However at 30 years old and as injury-ridden as he’s ever been , is RVP able to guarantee United enough goals to win the league again? I think not.
Without a doubt one of Europe’s biggest starts, the former Napoli star moved to PSG in the summer, but has always played second-fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Uruguayan is reportedly tired of playing wide-right for the French champions and would be a huge star in England. However, United again face competition from Chelsea, which could see a bidding war go beyond £60m.
Anderson – failed to impress in the Premier League, it’s time for the Brazilian to move on permanently.
Ashley Young – failing to live up to his move from Aston Villa, the England winger should step it down a peg, for his sake as well as United’s.
Alex Buttner – a great talent who has failed to claim a place in the squad both under Ferguson and Moyes, it would be unfair to him to keep him on the bench week after week.
Anders Lindegard – simply unable to rival De Gea, the Dane should search for first team football elsewhere.
Rio Ferdinand – Rio should certainly retire this year after failing to sustain a place in the squad this season, the former England rock should move into coaching sooner rather than later, as he has previously stated his intentions are to one day become a coach in London.
Nemanja Vidic – the captain will be a great loss to United, but he has already stated he will leave at the end of the season, a hard player to replace.
Patrice Evra – the 32 year old simply isn’t what he used to be, and could return to his old club Monaco in the summer.
Nani – once named ‘the new Ronaldo’ the Portuguese winger has never lived up to his expectations, and at 27 the trickster could easily fit right into an Italian side, and a player of his capability would bring in enough money to buy a quality replacement.
Antonio Valencia – talented, without a doubt, but simply will not fit into the squad over the coming years and, again for his sake, should seek action elsewhere, as he cannot compete with the likes of Mata, Rooney and Januzaj in the 3 behind the striker.
Javier Hernandez – a natural goalscorer, the Mexican is suffering on the United bench and will be worrying for his World Cup place and, although that cannot be fixed right now, he should seek to be the star man at another club in Europe.