Football

Is Manchester United's defence good enough to mount a title challenge?

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Manchester United were hit with a big transfer blow this week after Sergio Ramos agreed a new deal to keep him at Real Madrid.

Seen as the man to help solidify an often shaky back four, the news will come as a bitter blow to Louis van Gaal.

Last season, the key area that needed strengthening was the centre of the midfield. The club have addressed this by signing Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin from Bayern Munich and Southampton respectively.

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This has added strength in depth to the midfield and could allow Wayne Rooney to move forward into his favoured striking role and Mata or Fellaini to move into a more attacking position.

Schweinsteiger, along with his passing and defensive abilities, brings with him years of experience and a winning mentality which will help the younger players to develop.

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Schneiderlin is experienced in the Premier League and like Schweinsteiger he will add depth to the central midfield and ease the workload of Michael Carrick.

The club have also added more attacking flair with the addition of Memphis Depay. With the ability to play out wide, in the number 10 role or as a striker, he adds another option to United's game. The talented youngster has impressed in pre season and will be looking to carry that form into the season.

However the main area of concern for United fans currently is the defence.

With the recent defeat to PSG highlighting the weakness at the back, a lot of criticism was aimed in particular at Phil Jones with a lot of fans venting their frustration on social media about his performance. United do have a host of options at the back the problem isn`t adding depth it is adding quality.

In the full back positions they have Luke Shaw, Rafael, Antonio Valencia and new signing Matteo Darmian. Then in the central positions they have Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Daley Blind and youngsters Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.

Within the top four, it is doubtful that any of the current United back four would have a starting place at the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City.

All these teams boast at least one key defender at Chelsea it is John Terry/Gary Cahill, Arsenal have Laurent Koscielny, and Manchester City have Vincent Kompany. United don't have at this time a key figure at the back that will take charge and lead them to the title.

They also have David De Gea in goal, he has often made match winning saves for the side and was a key player last season. However with a stronger back four his work load would be a lot easier and the team would concede less goals.

Rumours are still circulating about his future and also the future of back up goalkeeper Victor Valdes after a falling out with manager Louis van Gaal.

The main man being linked with United currently is Nicolas Otamendi who plays his trade over in Spain. He won't be a cheap addition, but with the potential sale of Angel Di Maria to PSG, this could free up funds to make this signing happen.

Who would you like to see added to the defence? Where will United finish next season? Do you think the current back four is strong enough? Leave your comments below...

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Topics:
Louis van Gaal
Manchester United
Phil Jones
Football

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