Manchester United have possibly never before needed the January Transfer Window as much as they do this season.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson‘s leadership, it was annually expected that he would almost ignore the January transfer window as he felt there was quality available to add to his well-oiled squad. But this season, United’s squad is looking weaker than ever before.
Ignore the transitional side affects that has occurred due to David Moyes‘ arrival and just take a look at the squad. There are some talented players in there, but there is a huge gap screaming out for some new world-class talent. Plus, the injuries that are occurring mean that others are being patched together week in week out.
Nobody can no longer claim United don’t need to add in midfield. Marouane Fellaini for £27 million in the summer now looks a disaster. He is performing to a consistently average standard and in no way warranting such a price tag. It is almost harsh to blame Moyes too much for such a mess though, as new chief executive Ed Woodward clearly failed to handle the transfer business, with a bid for Cesc Fabregas just £3 million more.
Fabregas will surely be a name to be spoken about again come January 1. It is that standard that the team needs. Ryan Giggs may be impressive at 40, but for him to be one of United’s first choice midfielders is worrying. Tom Cleverley is talented, but he sadly is a long way off the standard of player to be the main man in United’s midfield.
Look back in the past: Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Bryan Robson – these are the type of players United are now missing deeply. Michael Carrick is United’s best midfielder, but he cannot be relied on entirely as they then need a creative spark that is more forward thinking.
The worry for United fans will be that more panic buying will occur in the new year as the best players will be unlikely to be sold midway through a season. It’s a common situation, as only on rare occasions do World Class players move on in January, and that is usually when the bank has been well and truly smashed.
Defensively and on attack, United are okay. They have young players in those positions that will continue to improve. But the midfield, the most important area in modern football, is lacking any substance that competes with the likes of Arsenal, who have Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil.
It is baffling that United didn’t go in for Ozil in the summer, but Moyes and Woodward have to work well together in January to bring in some talented, reliable midfielders to turn United’s season back on track.