With the Premier League 2019/20 season underway, all teams are looking to impress and reach their target positions for the season, or maybe even surprise a few people and go above and beyond expectation. One of those teams that has a lot to prove this season and the spotlight will be on a lot, is Manchester United. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Man United have turned into a laughing stock and have shown disappointing performances consistently year on year. The issue that Man United had which has stopped them finishing higher than their rivals, is the strength of their squad.
With the transfer window in the premier league being closed, Manchester United are unable to make any more new signings and have to stick to their current new players, as well as their squad from last season, minus a few players. They have added Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James to their squad, who are some great additions. However, they have released more players from their squad, some of these players include Ander Herrera, Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Valencia and the recent departure of Alexis Sanchez and possibly Chris Smalling on loan. There are more players on the list which have departed with Manchester United.
Our question is, which is the question of a lot of fans, is whether or not getting rid of all of these players, including some key players from last year, is really a good idea, considering United need to strengthen on last season and not weaken. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told the press on numerous occasions that he will be very strict on the squad from now on and if you do not want to put the effort in for the team, then they will not play for Man United ever again. This has clearly shown with the departures from the club, including Romelu Lukaku who was united main striker last season.
Alexis Sanchez is on the brink of landing a move with Inter Milan on loan, where he will join Romelu Lukaku. Sanchez was very unfortunate with his time at United and never excelled, he was a very poor player and a waste of money in a lot of sense. However, does Ole really know what he is doing? Is getting rid of Sanchez a good idea? He might not have performed well for the team last season, but maybe keeping hold of the striker would be a good idea to have him there as back-up and see if he can play his way out of this bad form.
As well as not being clinical in front of goal last season, united also struggled defensively, conceding a total of 54 goals in the premier league season, a horrendous stat for what is supposed to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. Even Crystal Palace conceded fewer goals than them last season. One thing Ole has done is to improve his defence in order to be more solid at the back and concede fewer goals this year. With the introduction of the most expensive CB in the league and also the introduction of one of the most promising English talents, in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, this season looks to be more positive defensively for United and these key players can help united to improve on last season and not concede as many goals.
The only real issue that could occur for united and potentially poison their defensive hopes of keeping more clean sheets, is if the key defenders in this side were to get injured or sold. Eric Bailly is a player that united relied on in a lot of matches. He was a monster when it came to defensive battles and winning the ball. However, he was hit with an injury in pre-season which sees him being out for months. Man United look to offload a few more defenders before the end of the transfer window, but is this a good idea?
Potentially, Ole is doing the right thing in offloading dead wood from the club to prove a point and to keep a positive mentality in the dressing room. It is no good having negativity in the dressing room and if players bring that sort of attitude to the club, then removing them from the club is the right thing to do. It will be interesting to see how the players will react under Solskjaer this year and whether selling players that are underperforming, was the right thing to do, even if it leaves United with a less than average looking 25-man squad when you compare them to the other top teams in the league. What all United fans must understand is that there is a process in place, a long process to get United back to where they want to be, and this cannot happen overnight.
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