While most of the top European leagues’ top teams have already started strengthening their respective teams, Manchester United are struggling to act during this summer transfer. Despite a horrible 2021/22 season, missing out on the top 4 spots for next year’s UCL, they have not been able to resolve their significant issues, except for the appointment of the head coach in the name of Erik Ten Hag.
The Dutch tactician has been tasked with assessing and deciphering the team’s issues in various departments, starting with adding up a creative midfielder in the middle of the park. He has been pushing for his fellow countryman, the former Ajax magician Frenkie De Jong from FC Barcelona. Knowing that Barcelona has been through tough financial times, United is pushing hard for De Jong.
Barcelona has shown interest in the deal, however, at an asking price of €85m. The kind of game Erik Ten Hag prefers to play, he must secure the signing of De Jong. The Dutchman is the perfect specimen to trigger the possession-based game. He likes to drop below, hold the ball, assess his teammates up forward and make progressive passes. Due to his technical ability quickly escapes the opponent’s press, mainly the body fronts, with twists and turns. His passing ability is outstanding, whether short passes, long passes, diagonal passes or key passes.
Ten Hag is pushing hard for De Jong because he wants to implement his system, hence the fans have to be patient to see a significant change in the team and witness some beauty simultaneously. In recent updates, Manchester United have improved their bid from 60m Euro + add-ons to 75m Euro + add-ons. Hence, this deal is likely to be completed soon. Another midfielder the Red Devils have in mind is Christian Eriksen. The former Spurs player has been earlier linked to United a couple of times. However, this time it could happen as Eriksen will be out of contract by the end of June.
The question still stands: Is De Jong the solution to all the problems United are facing? Perhaps not; the Dutch tactician has to fix the horrible defence, mainly their CBs Varane, Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly have been inconsistent. Meanwhile, Erik Ten Hag likes his CBs to be capable of carrying and passing the ball efficiently. In that case, he needs to reinforce the CB position, and the names associated are Villarreal’s centre-back Pau Torres, Ajax’s centre-back Jurrien Timber and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde ( United may have to compete with Chelsea for Kounde).
Another position is the RW spot, where United looked shaky after the incident with Mason Greenwood, but still, they lack clarity regarding his return. They have already tried to fill the position by deploying Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Recently, Anthony Elanga played some impactful football for United, unfortunately, it was not enough to secure a top 4 spot in the PL table. In this case, Ajax’s winger Antony is an ideal prospect for Erik Ten Hag and this is likely to happen, the Brazilian has flourished under Erik Ten Hag in recent years.
Nonetheless, Manchester United fans seem frustrated due to the Red Devils’ idleness in the transfer market, but they need to have patience and believe in Ten Hag’s vision for the club.