Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement at the end of the 2012/13 season, Manchester United have spent over £500 million on transfer fees. During the reign of Louis van Gaal, grand things were expected with his ‘Galactico’ signings as the club welcomed players such as Angel di Maria, Falcao and Memphis Depay. However, none of the big signings reached their potential and now most of them play their trade elsewhere.
Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, signed by Jose Mourinho during last year’s summer have already shown much more promise than any signing under van Gaal. Therefore, in this upcoming summer window, do Manchester United require more record-breaking signings?
Before last summer, Manchester United’s big-name signings failed to live up to their price-tags. Even this year, Pogba and Mkhitaryan have failed to set the world alight and for this reason, United have lingered around 6th place. However, glimpses have been shown and next season United fans will expect that both players find the form that encouraged United to sign them.
In Pogba’s favour, he is still years short from hitting his career prime. This scenario can be found throughout the team as players such as Martial, Rashford, Shaw, Bailly, and others have a possible decade to contribute to the team. Does this then mean that United should make no signings this summer? No.
Instead, Mourinho, which I fully expect he’ll do, should invest in players that will fully suit his style of play and system. With Louis van Gaal, the club often looked to secure ‘big-names’ and not actual talents which would benefit the harmony and play of the team. If Ibrahimović stays as expected, he will be promised minutes next season. Against Chelsea, we were reminded of what Rashford can do, so Mourinho must not hinder this progress but still make an addition to his forward line. A player similar to that of Javier Hernandez would best suit United at this time. He would offer incredible quality in front of goal which United have lacked this season, but at the same time, he would accept his rotation role, allowing Rashford and Zlatan to get game-time too. However, would Chicharito ever make a return to Old Trafford? It is unlikely. For me, a quality like Mario Mandzukic could be indispensable.
This season’s unbeaten run in the Premier League by United show’s how close but how far the club have been. The improvements since last season are evident, however, goals have proven hard to come by. Twenty-two games undefeated, despite the draws, is a magnificent feat and I believe promises great hope for next season. Undoubtedly most fans of the club, with open arms, would graciously welcome Antoine Griezmann to the club for another world-breaking record fee. Although Manchester United fans should not worry if this does not come to fruition and instead a smaller name is signed. Under Mourinho, Manchester United are on the correct path and we will soon be back on the path which the club and its fans expect.
Written by Nathan Woolsey