Much has been made of the fortunes of Manchester United recently, whether you are a devoted United supporter or a football fan watching what you believe may be the fall of England's football giant; What is clear is Manchester United need to strengthen their squad.
This is an opinion-piece suggesting players, who I believe will significantly improve the Manchester United team for the foreseeable future.
1. Luke Shaw
Patrice Evra has been a mainstay in the United team since his arrival but the last few years have seen his performance quality diminish. In order to secure the future of their left-back position United must sign a quality young player.
Luke Shaw has established himself as a key member of a Southampton side which have performed admirably. His defensive talent is undoubted and his ability going forward is exceptional.
While Southampton have been performing well, the opportunity to play in Old Trafford and gain an increase in wages would likely appeal to Shaw. United have prided themselves on building teams with a core of British players and Shaw would no doubt fit that category. With the signing of Shaw, United would gain a player who not only would improve their squad in the present but would also sign someone who could make the left-back position his own for the next ten years.
A United team with De Gea as keeper, Shaw on the left, Rafael on the right, and Jones/Smalling/Evans in centre-back could arguably develop in the most solid defense in England. Moyes could use Shaw as a signing to show he is building a new regime from the back.
Strootman could be termed 'the one who got away'. United were interested in Strootman and Strootman was interested in United but somehow he fell through their grasp and joined Roma. United are in desperate need for a midfield enforcer and Strootman's robust style of play and combative nature are something United have lacked since the departure of Roy Keane.
Strootman could breath new life and leadership into arguably the weakest Manchester United midfield over the last fifteen years. Strootman's arrival in January is unlikely due to the fact he recently arrived at Roma but United should bid for Strootman in the summer window.
A creative midfielder is at the top of David Moyes Christmas wish list and Santa could not bring a better gift than the star of Atletico Madrid's fantastic side. Koke is a young, intelligent, quick, Spanish midfielder in the mould of Iniesta, who could become the creative spark of United's centre midfield for the next ten years.
Recent news about Koke's release clause means that a January transfer could be likely if Moyes can convince him to become the first star in a new era at the Manchester club. Koke is on fine form this season and has eight assists to his name to date.
The media have been constantly linking Manchester United with Di Maria but it is another La Liga winger that Moyes should attempt to snatch, Griezmann. Di Maria is a great player in a great Real Madrid side but Griezmann has carried Real Sociedad through his superb individual performances. Griezmann has pace, trickery and he is still young despite being a leading star in a La Liga outfit.
Griezmann can play as a left winger or behind the striker and this versatility could be useful. With ten goals to his name so far this season Griezmann would be a vast improvement on current United wingers Nani and Young. Having stated he does not wish to leave in January, United may opt to sign him in the summer.
These four players could vastly improve a lackluster United squad in the present but more importantly could be leading stars in a title challenging team for the next ten years. They are established players in their current teams and have the potential to develop even further in the right environment which United would offer.
It may be a difficult challenge to persuade players such as Koke and Griezmann to move to the red side of Manchester but Moyes should use use the clubs financial muscle, history, modern facilities and fan-base to convince them of their role in a new era of Manchester United.
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