It’s fair to say that David Moyes has found life at Manchester United extremely difficult up to yet, having seen his team stump to their worst start to a league season in 24 years.
The champions are already 13 points behind league leaders Arsenal after just 15 games, leaving many believing they are already out of the title race.
Although this is realistically true, Moyes can yet turn around his and his team’s season, but only if he was to re-shuffle the pack in the January transfer window.
United have looked extremely vulnerable at the back. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who were once considered as the best central defensive partnership in the league, both now look as though their best days are past them.
Moving forward, the central midfields have been exceptionally poor. Michael Carrick is a couple of weeks away from returning to full fitness, Marouane Fellaini hasn’t had the desired effect since joining from Everton, and Tom Cleverley is simply far from good enough.
The wingers have also been a great deal less effective this year. Luis Antonio Valencia was once one of the most dangerous attacking players in the league but now the Ecuadorian has become more predictable. The same can be said about Ashley Young, and Nani’s moments of magic are a lot less frequent these days.
So who could Moyes realistically look to to turn this season around?
Defensively there are few better than Mats Hummels. The German has been the main man at the back of the Borussia Dortmund defence for the past few years. Prizing him away from the Bundesliga could prove difficult, but a figure of around £25 million could do exactly that.
To strengthen the midfield, Moyes should look into signing Benfica’s Nemanja Matic. The Serbian International was used as a make-weight in Chelsea’s deal to sign David Luiz in 2010, and has since became a rock in the centre of the team’s midfield. The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent times, with reports suggesting a £20 million fee could be enough.
On the wing, Marco Reus is the perfect player to bring flair and excitement back to Old Trafford. The German has had an impressive start to the Bundesliga season, having scored 7 times in 15 games so far. The 24-year-old would probably prove the most expensive choice, but United must not be deterred by the heavy price tag and avoid opting for a poorer player.
Another wide man that could be targeted is Tottenham’s Andros Townsend. The 22-year-old looks as dangerous as anyone at the moment, and he could play a massive part in England’s upcoming World Cup campaign. Once again Townsend wouldn’t come cheap, but a young England star could be the perfect option for Moyes.
The third and final winger United could look to bring in is Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria. Although he has made 13 league appearances for Los Blancos this season, his place in the starting line-up has been threatened by the arrival of £85 million Gareth Bale. Like Reus and Matic, 25-year-old Di Maria has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past.
Although all of these players could potentially be very expensive, Moyes must avoid compromising to bring in cheaper players who aren’t as good. Selling players like Anderson, Nani, Cleverley, Young, Welbeck and Hernandez could bring in a decent amount of money that would be used to fund the re-building of the team.
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