Does Manchester United need defensive reinforcements in the summer?

In recent weeks the speculation surrounding this summer’s transfer window has really ramped up. There has been a lot of talk about Manchester United signing a whole host of players, but after the recent performances of some of United’s defenders, the talk about signing reinforcements at the back has been something that might have some credibility to it.

After recent disappointing away performances at Newcastle and Tottenham, United’s defenders were strongly scrutinised for their lax defending and schoolboy mistakes, throwing into question the futures Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Pair the recent performances of Jones and Smalling with the fact that Victor Lindelof is still trying to adjust to the Premiership and Eric Bailly still coming back to full fitness, then no wonder why the talk of new defenders is cropping up.

There is no doubt that the return of Eric Bailly will add some stability and toughness to the United defence when he can regain full fitness, and his absence in recent months has been something that has really effective the United back-line. In the first few months of the season Bailly was one of United’s best and most consistent performers and were he to return with the form he showed at the start of the season, United will surely eradicate some of the mistakes that they have been making in recent weeks.

But even when Bailly returns, the problem with who will partner him still remains, which shows that maybe the reds do need to reinvest in a new centre-back this summer. Both Liverpool and Man City invested heavily in two world-class centre-backs in January, and now it’s maybe time for United to go big and spend heavily on a player to sure up our defence.

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the French duo of Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane, from Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and they are players who will undoubtedly improve the team but it will take them a while to get used to the Premier League and the physicality that comes with it.

What could be beneficial to United is purchasing a player who is already used to the English game and will slot into the back-line no problem. Harry Maguire is a name being touted as a future England star and has had a brilliant first season at Leicester. He isn’t going to light up the transfer market as a massive name or big fee but he is a young reliable defender with plenty of years left in him, and could prove to be a real bargain were United to purchase him.

There is no doubt that with the futures of English pairing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones looking increasingly unlikely, United need to reinvest in defenders, but I think Sweden international Victor Lindelof deserves a chance to prove himself as he is a capable centre-back but he is taking time to adjust. Mourinho spent a lot of money on the former Benfica man and he is starting to show signs of improvement.

With only eight games left in the season, now is the time for United’s defenders to really show Mourinho that they can be a regular at the back for the reds. There is no doubt that the United boss will need to invest in the back-line this summer, it’s just a question of who is coming in and who is going out.

Written by Dan Pearce

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