So the summer transfer rumours are in full swing at the moment. One after the other, the names of different players are thrown in as potential United targets. If one counts the number of players linked with United, the number will be around at least 80-85. But United sign only four or five, which means only around 0.05 % of players linked with Old Trafford actually make the move.
But moving on, let’s look at what United need this summer.
As the season has progressed, United’s weak areas have not hidden from anyone. So with Jose Mourinho ready to spend £200 million to build his ‘own’ squad, which players do United need to target and which players are most likely to land at Old Trafford this summer.
So let’s look at four players I think Mourinho needs to bring in this summer.
1. Tiemoue Bakayoko
Paul Pogba hasn’t had the best of first seasons at the club, the reason being that he hasn’t had a midfield partner to support him. Pogba needs a more defensive minded midfielder beside him, someone like N’Golo Kante, who breaks up attacks and then gives the ball to Pogba or a player further forward. In Football Manager terms, he needs either a deep lying playmaker or a ball winning midfielder beside him.
Tiemoue Bakayoko fits the bill perfectly. He is a strong player, so physicality wouldn’t be a problem at all, he has got a good footballing brain and is the sort of player who would break up attacks and then take the ball forward by either dribbling himself or by passing it on to the forwards. He is young so just like Pogba he will also see his best years at United (if signed) and he is the sort of midfielder who will make sure we lessen our regrets over not signing Kante. And most importantly he can be poached away from Monaco for a reasonable price, unlike Eric Dier, who plays a similar sort of role and who has also been linked with United. Getting him on board would go a long way in helping us lift the premier league title.
Price: £35 to £40 million
2. Romelu Lukaku
Now, I know most of you would expect Antoine Griezmann to be on this list but, he isn’t. The reasons are plenty.
The first reason is that Atletico Madrid would be very reluctant to sell their star man in a year they also move stadium and would do everything to stop the move.
The second reason is that he has often criticised the weather in Manchester saying it rains all year round. Now there’s not a lot wrong in this comment given that everyone has their own choices but, at the moment we don’t need pussies in the dressing room who will be unhappy about the weather, we need real characters. Lukaku is just that.
Another reason is that Griezmann is not the most physical of players and so he might not be able to out muscle the West Brom defence yet. Now there’s no doubt he’s a world-class player but, so is Lukaku. Lukaku is proven in the Premier League, he’s younger than Griezmann and he can be that player who, with his sheer physicality and technique, can create chances out of nothing. He knows how to unlock various Premier League defences, unlike Griezmann, for whom it will be a different ball game because English football is completely different to Spanish football.
Now I’ve seen two guys this season who have out muscled Wes Morgan with ease, the first one being Zlatan in the Community Shield and the second one being Lukaku. If the ball gets played up to him he can hold the ball up and bring others into play whilst creating opportunities for himself, again just like Zlatan. And the most important thing is that he wants to leave Everton, whereas Griezmann is quite satisfied with life at Atletico, with Lukaku’s price also being a little lower.
Price: £70 million
3. James Rodriguez
If we buy Lukaku and James in the summer then we would be pretty happy without Griezmann. Lukaku can play up top and James can play right behind him or on the right, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata fighting for the other available spot.
Despite getting fewer chances at Madrid, he has stepped up whenever called upon and he also is a world class talent. He has a great vision, a great long shot, an eye for goal and fantastic set piece taking ability. Just like Lukaku, he also wants to leave his club but, due to a lack of playing time.
Dealing with Madrid can be tough and they might even demand David De Gea in exchange but, with James pushing for a move away, this deal can also happen without the involvement of De Gea, and if De Gea is part of a swap deal, then there is Jan Oblak who we can chase, with recent reports stating that he’d be pretty interested in a move to United, if De Gea leaves. It can be win-win for everyone although I believe this deal can happen without De Gea.
Price: £50 to £60 million
4. Jose Gimenez
Now Eric Bailly needs a good partner alongside him and Gimenez would be a pretty good option. He wants to leave Atletico due to a lack of game time and he apparently is very interested in a move to United. He has proven himself in the Champions League with some top performances, he is young and was a major part of La Liga’s best defence last season so this move looks pretty sumptuous.
Price: £30 to £40 million
Now, this is what I think we should do. Everyone is entitled to his or her own views just like Mourinho so he may do something completely different but this is what I think would be best for us. We would get these four players for about £190 to £200 million, so they fit the budget, these players are willing to leave their respective clubs and they are all world class talents who will make United’s squad one of the best in Europe.