New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has a number of crucial tasks he must address before the season begins in the middle of next month.
He has started that with the welcome additions of Luke Shaw and Ander Hererra but he mustn't stop there.
The vital place in the team that he must reinforce with a world-class player is central defence following Nemanja Vidic's move to Inter Milan and Rio Ferdinand's departure to QPR.
The perfect man for the job
Far too often last season, attackers got at United's back four at will. Never before has a Manchester United team looked so open and so vulnerable.
Gone are the days where the Red Devils' defence was the backbone of the side and to address this Van Gaal must secure the signing of German World Cup winner Mats Hummels.
Not only is Hummels an outstanding technician but he is also the commanding leader United need at the back if they are to reinstate their place at the top echelon of English football.
Manchester City and Chelsea both boast outstanding central defences and it is no wonder they were both challenging for the title whilst United lingered far behind in seventh.
Other interested parties
It is a while since United signed a top-class centre-half - harking back to the capture of Vidic - and they must act sooner rather than later as other clubs ponder a bid for the Borussia Dortmund player.
At the moment it seems the current crop at Old Trafford aren't progressing perhaps as they should be and they need to ensure Hummels is wearing red next season.
Chris Smalling was - unfortunately for him - at times the prime example last season, with poor displays littering his career to date.
It may also be fair to say that Phil Jones has not reached the required level but the signing of Hummels would give him the perfect partner to guide and nurture his obvious talent.
The seemingly imminent departure of Patrice Evra to Juventus also signifies the end of an era where United had a plethora of commanding figures in their rearguard ranks.
With Evra on his way the time is right for a player of Hummels stature to bring the club back to the days reminiscent of those enjoyed by Vidic and Ferdinand and move United away from the dreadful defensive displays last season that saw the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City come to Old Trafford and win at a canter.
This should be Van Gaal's priority and the United faithful will be desperately hoping he can bring the German to the club, despite some concerns over his pace.
Having a World Cup winner in the side would also do wonders for the whole squad and if he was to make the switch he would be vital in the Red Devils wrestling back their Premier League crown from their city rivals.
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