Nearly two years after signing for Manchester United, the jury remains out on defender Marcos Rojo.
He remains a regular in the starting line-up – something that can be largely attributed down to the constant injury curse the squad have had to battle – yet his style of play is hardly comparable with that of Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic.
And because of that, United can do better. Whether it be Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, or whoever else, the manager next year must make signing a centre-back the absolute priority. It should be top of the agenda, above signing a superstar and offloading Marouane Fellaini.
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Lack of defensive signings
When Van Gaal strutted into town in the summer of 2014, his arrival had the fans dreaming. Sure, Ferdinand and Vidic were gone, but surely they would be replaced? Surely Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans need a marquee name beside them if they are to blossom?
Alas, those hopes were dashed. United prioritised stellar names such as Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, with Rojo the sole centre-back to arrive. It is now a tad ironic that Smalling and central midfielder Daley Blind occupy the void the Argentinean was meant to fill.
He has found starting opportunities easy to come by, but only due to the constant injuries that have riddled the squad. With Luke Shaw out – and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Timothy Fosu-Mensah still young and raw – his ticket to the first team is practically guaranteed.
But United need better. Vidic and Ferdinand have been gone for two years and it is no coincidence that the club are yet to win a trophy since they left. Mourinho or Van Gaal must use the huge transfer kitty at their disposal to land a defender capable of guiding them to silverware.
Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund or Raphael Varane of Real Madrid would fit the bill. Prising either away from their current clubs will be difficult, particularly if United fail to pip Manchester City and West Ham to a place in the top four and Champions League. But regardless of where United finish next term, players like Hummels and Varane are of the type of calibre that the Red Devils should look to sign.
Mourinho may be the man who could make the big deals happen. Van Gaal has proven during his troubled tenure that he struggles in the transfer market, and his successor will have to fare better if they are to transform the club back into the heavyweight of old.
Rojo may be a solid defender, but based on this alone he is not good enough to play for United on a weekly basis.
His versatility is key – and he would be a fantastic squad player – but Mourinho, Van Gaal, or whoever else is in charge at the beginning of next season, must solve the defensive conundrum if United are to be a force once more.
Is Marcos Rojo good enough for Manchester United? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!