Manchester United have been judged to own the worst defence in the Premier League by the masses on social media and football fans in general this season.
Even though it is amusing that fans make fun of United's defence, it is important to remember that they have the joint-seventh best defensive record in the Premier League.
UNSUCCESSFUL TRANSFER WINDOW
In this summer's transfer window, United had to sign defenders because of the departures of Rio Ferdinand to QPR and Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan. Louis van Gaal signed Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw from Sporting Lisbon and Southampton respectively.
Despite this, the Red Devils have been criticised for not signing an established centre back, which is what they are fundamentally lacking in their back four.
ABSENCE OF A LEADER
Although they have the seventh best defence, they are lacking in individual quality. In other words, personalities needed to run the defence; most importantly a leader. There is no standout man in the defence, and it's extremely important in the Premier League to have a character that commands the back line.
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When you look at Chris Smalling, Rojo, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Rafael there is no figurehead to call the shots. United have the same number of clean sheets (three) as Chelsea, which shows that if they sign a quality centre back - e.g. Mats Hummels - their defence will definitely be stronger.
This, combined with their slowly developing attacking threat, will make them a force to be reckoned with once Van Gaal has become more familiar with his squad.
MANCHESTER UNITED MUST ACT IN JANUARY
In principle, come January or at the latest next summer, United must sign better quality defenders if they want to have a chance to challenge for the top four, let alone the title.
Chelsea set an excellent example of what type of squad to have; they have the right balance between attack and defence. This is why they are the Premier League leaders and haven’t put a step wrong this season.