CAN MANCHESTER UNITED FINALLY SECURE THE PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE?: MAN UTD 21/22 SEASON PREVIEW
Strange as it is, Manchester United have their two staple signings sorted out early in the transfer window.
After a messy deal with Borussia Dortmund last summer, the conclusion of the Jadon Sancho saga was a simple one. Everyone knew it was going to happen, it was inevitable given how close the transfer was the summer.
The signing was concluded after the Euros, presumably so Sancho could give the national team his full and undivided attention. Sancho will give Manchester United a much-needed attacking outlet, particularly as talisman Marcus Rashford is out until at least October due to surgery on a persistent shoulder injury.
Another incoming was serial winner Raphael Varane. It is no secret that United have been needing a solid centre back partnership since Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left all those years ago and they finally might have found it. Varane is a confident, strong centre-back who oozes class.
At less than £50 million he is a bargain in today’s market. Not only will he help sure up the defence, but he will also bring a much-needed winning mentality and have high expectations of his teammates, the manager, and the club. He bolsters the squad in a way it has needed for years.
However, Manchester United’s success in the transfer window thus far does not mean that they are solid. Without a doubt United need another signing, particularly a defensive midfielder. Plenty of names have been batted around but it seems like no negotiations have progressed to the level of offers. This will weaken United as they go into the season.
Pre-season has seen the emergence of Anthony Elanga and the resurgence of Jesse Lingard. For many United fans, Elanga’s name has been batted around as the next big academy prospect for a while and it is no surprise that Solskjaer may be considering his place in the first team whilst Rashford is out with injury. He is blisteringly fast and can cause problems for most full backs with his ability and confidence to take them on.
Jesse Lingard has arguably been one of the standout players in pre-season and has really shown his professionalism since being sent on loan. He performed extremely well whilst on loan at West Ham and didn’t have a bad word to say against the club. His resurgence won’t be a problem for Solskjaer, he’s lifted his price tag and if Solskjaer decided to keep him, he has proved he has the form to be a United player.
Pre-season has not been the best for United. Plenty of their international stars have only just returned from their holidays and likely won’t be ready for the first game of the season. Raphael Varane still must have his medical after quarantining and Jadon Sancho joining training on Monday, pre-season has mainly been about showcasing youngsters.
One big unknown factor is who will be the first-choice goalkeeper for the season ahead: David De Gea or Dean Henderson. De Gea has more experience but has had a rocky few seasons, especially with the unfortunate Europa League final loss. Dean Henderson is younger and had a great spell when he played last season.
Henderson has made it clear he wants to be first choice, or he will be looking elsewhere. It all comes down to Solskjaer, does he trust De Gea despite his mistakes or does he take a chance on Henderson? The unknown isn’t helping the squad with the preparations for the season ahead, but it looks like De Gea for the season but with his agent Mino Raiola in his ear, many believe it will lead to poor performances until his mind is made up.
United are expected to play attacking football again this season, backed up by a solid defence. Many believe that the two newest signings will be standout performers for the season. However, Bruno Fernandes is expected to have another impressive season and Luke Shaw is hoping to bring his form from this season and the Euro’s into the upcoming season.
With Manchester City looking like United’s main rivals for the season, to win the league United will have to bolster their squad. will be starting the first game against Leeds United as Henderson recovers from a bout of coronavirus.
Pogba’s future is also up in the air, with interest from Paris Saint Germain reportedly peaking the French midfielder’s interest. Ideally, the midfielder's mind will be focused on Manchester United for the season but with his agent Mino Raiola in his ear, many believe it will lead to poor performances until his mind is made up.
United are expected to play attacking football again this season, backed up by a solid defence. Many believe that the two newest signings will be standout performers for the season. However, Bruno Fernandes is expected to have another impressive season and Luke Shaw is hoping to bring his form from last season and the Euro’s into the upcoming season.
With Manchester City looking like United’s main rivals for the season, to win the league United will have to bolster their squad.