Manchester United are in for a busy summer, there’s no doubt about it.
Their 2016-17 campaign can hardly be seen as disastrous but United will certainly be asking for that extra gear next season. Besides, the Red Devils will be rubbing shoulders with European juggernauts in the Champions League once again.
Moreover, almost everyone involved with the club will be desiring more than a sixth place finish. Jose Mourinho won’t be able to mask any league deficiencies with League Cups and Europa Leagues for a second season in a row.
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So, how do United go about improving? While one of the obvious sites of bolstering proves the forward areas – given the release of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the defence could also do with attention.
As a result, a vast number of centre-backs have already been linked with a move to Old Trafford over the course of the summer. Perhaps the two most frequented targets prove Victor Lindelof and Michael Keane.
The former was a prominent target for United across the January window and the latter’s superb performances for Burnley have tempted Mourinho into securing his return. Nevertheless, it is foreseeable that the club will only purchase one.
So, which centre-back proves the better option – an up and coming protégé on the continent or a revitalised youngster with Premier League experience? As far as Ray Wilkins is concerned, the answer is obvious.
While the Sky Sports pundit can be challenged by few for his knowledge of the beautiful game, his analysis is always somewhat favourable to young, English players.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with it and it raises an important issue – that England’s top division is starved of homegrown talent. Nevertheless, the 60-year-old can often take his bias to confusingly great extents.
This was no more apparent than when he was asked as to whether United should opt for Lindelof or Keane. No awards for guessing whom Wilkins plumped for and the footage can be seen below:
The debate is settled then, Lindelof has “done nothing”. Case closed.
Of course that is far from the case and completely dismisses the great promise of a star that has been tracked by Mourinho for sometime. Besides, Lindelof has racked up 47 appearances for no less than Benfica this season.
He has broken into the Swedish national team as a result and even has a keen eye for a free-kick.
So while launching a case for signing Keane is certainly admirable, Wilkins does himself no favours with a bizarrely dismissive verdict of Lindelof. Moreover, is £30 million for the Swede so ridiculous when the Burnley-based alternative would only be a mere £2 million cheaper?
Some of the best reaction on Twitter can be seen here:
That wasn’t the end of Wilkins’ nightmare interview though. In fact, the ex-England international nearly swore on live television when discussing Manchester City’s defence.
His linguistic slip-up can be seen below and it’s quite the close call:
Nevertheless, regardless of whom Mourinho chooses, there is certainly room for improvement in the United squad. That being said, given the Special One’s record with second seasons, perhaps just tradition will carry them to the title.
Who do you think Manchester United should buy – Keane or Lindelof? Have YOUR say in the comment box below