8 January, 2014 - 12:32

Winter Transfers: Manchester United must buy to save the season

Winter Transfers: Manchester United must buy to save the season

January signings do not always come out successful. Some of the managers refuse to make winter changes in the squad to maintain the balance and keep it confident till the end of the season. The only thing that might make them break the bank and introduce new players midway through the season is emergency.

If there is one club in England that can push the emergency button and should be desperate to strengthen in January it is Manchester United. Three straight losses in different tournaments, including two at Old Trafford, talk for themselves. Sir Alex Ferguson successor’s job was never meant to be easy, but transition period has become truly pathetic. The Red Devils are out of FA Cup, are on the brink of League Cup elimination and lie seventh in Premier League. In fact, looking at their performance, you are not sure if there is any transition. During long periods of the matches it looks more like a routine duty to run for 90 minutes without clear ideas of how to actually win games. Yes, they concede a lot. Yes, they do not score enough. But the real problem lies in midfield, just as it was last season. Yet, in the season 2012/2013 United had Sir Alex, they had the hungriest striker in Robin van Persie and the main rivals stuck in transition. But now their creativity problems are just too obvious. Tom Cleverley is just a good player, but not a match-winner, Michael Carrick has been injured and is yet to regain his best form, Phil Jones is brilliant but still seems unsettled at any position and is injury-prone. With all our admiration for Ryan Giggs he is not the one who can and should push United forward. Almost 30-million pounds summer signing Marouane Fellaini is struggling to become a Red Devil. Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Anderson are just not good enough. Adnan Januzaj is one of the most talented youngsters to have rushed into the squad lately but needs time to mature, develop his physique and eliminate diving. Nani has not played any significant role throughout the season and iconic Darren Fletcher, who has returned from long treatment, will be lucky to get back to his best.

David Moyes just doesn’t have a couple of top-class midfielders ready to fight against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City or, come spring, some of European giants. He needs a talismanic signing to inspire the rest of the team, an Ozil if you like. A player or, better, a couple of players who could breathe fresh air to Carrington and get them back to business, which is certainly fighting for Premier League top places. But they need to do it as quick as possible, before it is too late.

Another question is who of the top-class midfielders would be available in January?

Obviously, the ones who long for Champions League football and the ones who need to show off before the World Cup, the outcasts. The problem is few of top quality players polish benches, most of them are happy at their clubs, like Koke, or Marco Reus, or Daniele De Rossi. One of the options that come to mind is Juan Mata, who seems cursed to not impress Jose Mourinho, but would Chelsea really sell to their direct rivals? Angel Di Maria, who would be a fine signing, does not seem to live up to his ambitions with Real Madrid and could become a first-team player at United. But would Carlo Ancelotti want to leave his record signing Gareth Bale without cover-up? If their scouts are working well in South America, something might come up from Brazil, where the season is over and talented players would be eager to switch to Europe. Players like Everton Ribeiro, who has helped to mold the title for Cruzeiro.

Indeed, it seems the perfect time for ambitious players to join Manchester United. They could become leaders in a legendary club without having to warm the bench for too long, as it can happen in clubs like Manchester City, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

But the chances of David Moyes making no marquee signings this winter are too high, just take a glance back to summer 2013.

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Author: Leon Smolski

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8 January 2014, 12:37

Boy, do they need to buy.. They probably need 5 top-class players to get back to top-four..

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