XtremezDon takes a look at some of Manchester United’s possible summer transfer targets.
We are close to approaching the summer transfer window. We will be expected to spend big again. Looking back at this season it is clear that we need to strengthen in different areas of the team. One of the areas where we have to strengthen is at right-back. Rafael at one point was one of the best right-back and now he’s no where near the first team. Valencia had some good performances but in the long term we will have to invest in a young right-back, personally we should target Darmien or Nathaniel Clyne who has been sensational this season and his form has forced him into a place in the England set-up.
However there are reports of him talking with Southampton over a new contract so there is a possibility of him staying at Southampton. If that is the case, then we should look to Darmien who has performed well this season for Torino. He has provided 31 key passes and he has created 32 chances which is more than Clyne and Valencia. Over the years we have seen some of the greatest centre-backs in the history of Premier League for example Rio Ferdinand, Vidic, Stam etc. Rio and Vdic left the club last summer and since then Smalling, Evans and Jones haven’t stepped up their game because they were constantly injured. We have to buy a centre-back who is good on the ball and being able to command the defence. We have been linked to players like Hummels, Otamendi and Laporte.
Otamendi would be my first choice because he is a strong centre-back who can score goals and he has been brilliant this season. In addition Otamendi has a 80% pass completion rate which is superb for a centre-back. On the other hand Laporte is someone who could be a great signing because he is young and he has potential to be one of the best centre-backs in Europe. Since his breakthrough into the first team at Bilbao in 2013, he has developed into a superb centre-back, he was one of the 5 players from La Liga that made list of the golden boy award. His tackle percentage is 80% and his headed duel win percentage is 63% which is excellent, considering he is only 20 years old. Hummels is a player who is most likely to join us because he is seen as Van Gaal’s top target. In the 2014 World Cup Hummels showed why he has improved so much since his terrible performance in the Euro 2012 semi finals against Italy. He was an instrumental part of the German team which won the World Cup. He showed his ability to make surging runs with the ball and without and he was a threat in set pieces for example he scored the winning goal against France and he was awarded the man of the match award.
Midfield is another position which needs strengthening. Last summer we brought Ander Herrera and Blind. Herrera has done well this season. Blind has struggled as a defensive midfielder but he has performed well as a left back. This is why I think Van Gaal will look to sign a midfielder and Van Gaal did mentioned that he regrets not signing a right sided central midfielder last summer. Vidal is someone who have been linked with United again and again and I think he would be a quality signing. Since his return from injury last season he has played a huge part in Juventus winning the title and reaching the champions league final. He works very hard by defending and creating goals.
This season he has created 37 chances which is more than Carrick and Herrera combined and he has a 85% pass completion rate which is a very good for a central midfielder. Another player that we have strongly been linked with is Ilkay Gundogan. He is a player who could sign for us because he has one year left on his contract. He has rejected a new contract offer and Dortmund will be forced to sell him. Since his return from his back injury, he has gained some form but Dortmund as a team have struggled. He has created 26 chances which is more than Herrera, Blind and Carrick. This is good considering the injury that he suffered last season.
Van Gaal’s goal at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top4 and so far Van Gaal has achieved that. Manchester United have the 4th best defence in the league this season and that is because of De Gea. De Gea has improved massively since 2011 and now he is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He has one year left on his contract and he reportedly rejected a new contract offer. Real Madrid are aware of the situation and they are looking to replace Casillas with De Gea. We have been linked with goalkeepers such as Leno, Cech, Lloris and Handanovic, Personally I would choose Leno. This season Leno has played 33 games and he has kept 16 clean sheets which is more than Cech, Lloris and Handanovic. Leno has a £13 million release clause which is a brilliant because we won’t have to pay 30million. Lloris is another alternative to Leno. Lloris has been superb this season, he has saved Tottenham on so many occasions and I’m sure he would like to play in the champion’s league.
If we want to challenge for the title then we will have to invest in a new striker. Last summer we signed Falcao on a loan deal and he hasn’t delivered, In addition Van Persie and Rooney haven’t scored 15+ goals this season. Personally I would target Lacazette. Over the last two seasons he has improved massively and his form has caught the eye of the big teams in Europe. This season Lacazette has scored 27 goals as well as providing 6 assists. We have also been linked with Bacca. Bacca would give us something different up top, this season he has scored 20 goals and providing 6 assists. He’s not the quickest player but he has the strength to hold the ball and he can deal with crosses too.
It’s going to be an interesting summer at Old Trafford and the starting could be much changed for the first game of next season.
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