Last season, despite it being Jose Mourinho’s first campaign in charge, Manchester United managed to win three trophies: the Community Shield, the EFL Cup, and the Europa League. Winning Europe’s second-tier competition granted them passage to the Champions League in the upcoming campaign, but the team needs some adding to if United are to compete there and push for the top four in the Premier League.
It’s early days, and the Premier League doesn’t recommence until August 12, but Man United seem to be falling behind, especially as some of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s targets have slipped through his fingers.
‘Pep Guardiola as a coach‘ by Богдан Заяц (CC BY-SA 3.0)
United Not Moving Forward
Thus far this summer, Manchester United has lost their top scorer of the 2016/17 campaign, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as they decided against renewing his contract and look set to lose club legend – who is still only 30-years-old – Wayne Rooney to a team who are now a rival in the standings, Everton.
The only player to come in so far is 22-year-old centre-back Victor Lindelöf. Centre-back was a major area of need, but will the young Swede be enough to fill it? Eric Bailly, who signed last summer, is only 22 now and impressed last season, so hopefully, Lindelöf is much of the same.
Unfortunately for United, the player who they were most heavily linked to, Antoine Griezmann, decided to remain at Atletico Madrid instead of making a huge move to the Premier League. On top of this, their Premier League rivals have either signed big or are close to securing deals with star players.
Manchester City have been splashing the cash left, right, and centre, already securing Bernardo Silva and new goalkeeper Ederson. Chelsea, the reigning champions, are yet to officially add more than a backup goalie – Willy Caballero, formerly of Manchester City – but they are reportedly edging closer to signing the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Alex Sandro. Arsenal have broken their transfer record to sign the much sought-after striker Alexandre Lacazette as well as procuring decent left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free.
Tottenham Hotspur are yet to make a move, but they already have what is likely the most well-rounded team in the league, which will only improve with time. Liverpool have managed to snag speedy winger Mohamed Salah and have been linked to the likes of Gelson Martins, Naby Keita, and Sergio Rico. Then there’s Everton – who finished one place and eight points back of United – who have broken the bank to acquire Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru, and Sandro Ramirez.
In the football betting, Manchester United are 1/1 just to win a trophy next season, and given that they’re falling behind in this Premier League arms race, it’s no wonder that they’re expected to go without any silverware.
A Long Summer Ahead
‘Manager Jose Mourinho‘ by Tsutomu Takasu (CC BY 2.0)
Manchester United may be behind the rest of the pack at this middling stage of the summer transfer window – with most clubs hoping to wrap up their business before the new season begins – but the Red Devils won’t leave it be.
There’s no doubt that United will continue to pursue big names to bolster their squad and make a real charge at the top four next season. However, they’ll need to land players who will upgrade the team, such as a left winger who can cross the ball, an attacking midfielder with flair, and a striker.