It’s been something of an underwhelming start to the season for Manchester United.
Despite the captures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, Jose Mourinho has been left to watch the main title challengers escape him. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that United aren’t the real deal quite yet.
Consequently, it looks as if the Special One will reach into his pockets in the approaching January transfer window. Furthermore, it appears Mourinho has his sights set on one centre-back in particular.
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At the heart of United’s mediocre season so far has been their questionable defending.
Considering this is a club that once had Jaap Stam, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand marshaling its back four, recent seasons have left a lot to be desired. The Reds Devils aren’t the defensive force they used to be.
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After all, Mourinho’s men have shipped a disappointing 14 goals in their 12 Premier League clashes so far. David de Gea has only kept two clean sheets in the league since August as a result of these deficiencies.
These issues have served to amplify the concerns Mourinho had in pre-season that United lacked a key defensive leader.
Chris Smalling has been far from his best in 2016-17 and this was no more apparent than in the 4-0 drubbing at Chelsea. Furthermore, Eric Bailly has waned in recent weeks and Marcos Rojo is simply not good enough.
While the club is far from deprived when it comes to centre-backs, their current arsenal doesn’t scream that of a title winning side.
Mourinho isn’t ready to sit and feel sorry for himself though. In fact, the Portuguese is believed to have a January move for Jose Gimenez lined up as means of shoring up his defence.
According to ESPN, via a source close to United, the Atletico Madrid man is set to receive some rather persuasive calls over the next few weeks.
Gimenez, at just 21-years-old, has risen to a key member of the Atleti squad and has been regularly compared to his compatriot and teammate Diego Godin.
Excitingly for the Red Devils too, the Uruguayan has fallen out of favour with Diego Simeone. While the reason for him losing his place is unclear, it may open the door for a move to the Premier League.
Not only would it prove a long-term solution for Mourinho, but would provide the club with a long overdue defensive anchor. For his age, Gimenez is an accomplished leader and often dubbed as an old-fashioned centre-back.
It’s because of this potential that Gimenez wouldn’t come cheaply however. Besides, it may take a bid of between €40 million and €50 million for the Madrid side to be coxed into selling.
Nevertheless, if such a move were to stall, the Special One hasn’t given up on Southampton’s Jose Fonte as a potential back up. Similarly, AS Monaco’s Fabinho remains a great figment of interest.
Whoever United move for in January though, their current form suggests something needs to change in defence.
Do you think Jose Gimenez is the man to shore up Manchester United? Leave them in the comment section below!