• Anna Dugdale

WHERE DO MANCHESTER UNITED TARGET NOW FOLLOWING THE VARANE DEAL?


This summer transfer window has been a different one for Manchester United.


Usually, fans are left frustrated by the lack of movement in the transfer window. Transfers are usually left until the last minute and rumours are plastered all over any social media and sports news outlet. The way that United have conducted this transfer window is different, the deal for Jadon Sancho was wrapped up incredibly quickly, some may have argued this was because most of the groundwork was made last summer. However, the signing of Raphael Varane was reported, and completed almost simultaneously. Two world class players signed in the early days of the window, in positions that Manchester United desperately needed. Now, the question is where do they target next?


Arguably, a midfielder.


The defence is solid: 4 good centre-backs, a world class left back, an incredibly good back up and a solid right-back.


Up-front and Jadon Sancho was the last piece in the attacking puzzle. Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Amad Diallo give United the youth, energy and excitement the front three need, whilst Edinson Cavani brings composure and a winning mentally. Side-lined Martial hasn’t been in the picture for a while due to injury, but offers a good alternative when he’s in form.


Manchester United have a good midfield. Last season, Bruno Fernandes was the standout player, Paul Pogba had his moments and Donny Van de Beek wasn’t really given a chance to impress. If the rumours of Paul Pogba departing this summer become a reality, midfield is definitely somewhere to target with certainty. However, it should be targeted anyway.


Too many times have Manchester United relied on players who’s promising performances aren’t consistent. So many names have been batted around: Eduardo Camavinga, Ruben Neves, plus Saul Niguez. Most of these players are available for a fraction of the price that they would usually be, partly due to COVID and due to clubs being financially effected. Therefore, making it the perfect time to capitalise and build a title-winning midfield.


Camavinga is a defensively sound midfielder and at only 18, he has plenty of time to grow into a better player. In Ligue 1, he averages 4 tackles a game, one of the highest in Europe. At only £30 million, he would be a steal. However, according to reports he would prefer a move to Spain. If United have learnt anything from previous transfer sagas and fails, they should know to not chase players who don’t want to play for Manchester United.


Ruben Neves would slot into Solskjaer’s tried and tested formations well. Defensively, he is most similar to Fred, so it seems likely that the Brazilian would be the most likely to make way. With many believing that Solskjaer is switching to a 4-3-3 system, Neves would be a great number 6 for that formation. Neves is proven in the Premier League, he’s been impressive with Wolves and arguably a standout performer for them. Neves could break up the McFred midfield, something many fans haven’t enjoyed watching. Neves possess not only the stamina and hardiness that many credit to Scott McTominay and Fred, but the creativity that they both lack. Ever since playing in the Premier League, Neves has thrived. With a combination of vison and perfect passing, Neves can switch play easily, something that Manchester United have been missing. This deal could change the midfield’s tempo, allowing Manchester United’s new attacking line to flourish.


Whilst some people would say a right back is needed to provide competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with Kieran Trippier’s name being batted around, it has been reported many times that Solskjaer and the board are prioritising outgoings before signing anyone else, and they’re more focused on a midfielder than competition for a competent Wan-Bissaka.