Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has admitted that the Old Trafford club will spend money this summer in a bid to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continue his rebuild of the club but that they will pay ‘extra caution in the coming months’ due to the clubs financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic. This is understandable as since the restart of the Premier League season, all club involved will have lost a lot of revenue not having any supporters in and around their grounds.
United saw themselves rise to third in the Premier League after a disappointing 1-1 draw with West Ham United in their last Premier League match of the season at the Theatre of Dreams with Chelsea falling to a 5-3 defeat by champions Liverpool, which means that both United and Chelsea will require just a point in order to guarantee UEFA Champions League football next season. United have taken the tough route to get that sorted though.
That aside, Woodward has insisted that United were still ‘commercially strong’ for the long-term and earning Champions League football next season will reinforce that and might even allow the Old Trafford club to splurge the cash this summer bringing in the types of player that they need to bring in to solve problem areas in the squad, if which there are a few at this moment in time. In my opinion, a right-winger, striker, creative midfielder and a central defender are all needed.
Woodward obviously backs Solskjaer’s plans for United as he will have invested in his plans when he hired him as the interim manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked after that defeat to Liverpool back in December 2018. You can see the progress at the club too, which will be something that will have shown Woodward the way forward after seven years of abject failure in trying to rebuild teams. Speaking in the United Review, which was reported by The Sun, Woodward said:
“We are fortunate to have a strong and resilient commercial business which has supported long-term investment in our team.
“That will continue, albeit with extra caution in the coming months as we navigate our way through this uncertain period.”
United have been strongly linked with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and a whole host of other players this summer. Either of those players would go some way in addressing the problems at the club, however, there are many other areas where United seem to have weaknesses; one of which is in the centre of defence. United added Harry Maguire for £80 million last summer and despite him strengthening the back four, his partner, Victor Lindelof, has not been the best partner for him.
With questions surrounding the fitness of Eric Bailly, who has been injured more often than not over the past two seasons, and the fact that Axel Tuanzebe has been out for a large proportion fo the season, there is genuine reason for delving into the transfer market to find a commanding central defender to partner Maguire and solidify the clubs back four. As Sir Alex Ferguson once said; “attack wins you games but defence wins you titles.”
Written by John Walker