Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has stated that the club needs to strengthen their squad this summer in order to better perform in the Premier League and beyond next season. The Bulgarian suggests that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should pay particular attention on the defence. United have not had a terrible season and at times, it could well have gone that way. Since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, the club has been very different, seemingly turning the season around.
United were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League on Sunday after being beaten 2-1 by Sevilla in the semi-final, with the club setting up a Friday night final against Inter Milan. United already earned UEFA Champions League football by finishing third in the Premier League, coming back from 14 points behind Leicester City at one stage of the season, finishing four points ahead of the club, which finished fifth in the league. Despite not winning a trophy, it was a better season for United than expected.
Victor Lindelof’s defending was questioned after Sevilla scored their winner against United on Sunday which led Berbatov to question the defence at the club as the area that could do with strengthening a bit more than other areas on the pitch, although it is not the only area that needs strengthening. Sir Alex Ferguson once said “attack wins you games but defence wins you titles“. Solskjaer will have an idea of what he wants to do this summer and United are seemingly still chasing Jadon Sancho. Speaking to Betfair and reported by The Mirror, Berbatov said:
“The defeat showed that United need to strengthen their squad this summer. They need a centre-back for sure.
“Midfield and up front seems to be ok. Paul Pogba looks likely to stay and I would like to see Scott McTominay get back in the team.
“But United need more depth, Ole made his first substitution very late last night when things weren’t going well.
“It does show he trusts his first XI a lot, but maybe it shows he doesn’t trust his bench so much.”
United have been linked to many defenders already this summer with Nathan Ake, who has now signed for Manchester City, Gabriel Magalhaes, who seems to be linked between Arsenal and Napoli, Pau Torres, who was linked to the club a matter of weeks ago with nothing more since and even Kalidou Koulibaly, who is linked to City. United might pull something out of the bag and sign a central defender, especially if Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo all depart from the club. Berbatov also spoke about Scott McTominay’s situation at the club, saying:
“There will be lots of games next season, and they need to have the squad to be ready. I find McTominay’s situation really strange. He is fit and ready, he got his contract extension, but he doesn’t play.
“Is it because Matic and Fred play really well? I am not sure, but I like him a lot, so hopefully he can pick up the pace next season and get back into the team.”
Solskjaer has a big job ahead of him as the manager of United. He has just completed his first full season in charge of the club, finished third in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, which will end a positive season which lasted 370 days because of the coronavirus pandemic. This summer though, the club needs to pull something out of the bag and get going with their transfer business. The transfer window has been open since the 27 June, just after the Premier League season came to a close and so far, United have gotten rid of Alexis Sanchez with Tahith Chong and Aliou Traore both heading out on loan.
Written by John Walker