Manchester United transfer targets to get back to the top

Image Credit: sportbible.com

After a disastrous start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, it is already clear that Manchester United's first team and squad lacks both top quality and depth. The biggest issue I see with the squad is the lack of great and world class players in the starting XI and the fact that players like Pereira, Lingard and Greenwood are being relied upon when they are simply not good enough or too inexperienced at this point in time. However, if we focus on 5/6 top tier starting XI signings and demote some of out current starters to squad players, I think we will find ourselves in a far better situation and our squad depth is not as big an issue as the lack of starting XI quality. Naturally, alongside the speculation of transfer targets, there will also be speculation around the future of Solskjaer, the board and the owners, however, in this article I want to purely focus on the players that I believe Manchester United should target if they really want to start getting anywhere near the top of the Premier League over the next few seasons and push the rest of the problems to the side for now (providing we avoid relegation this season...). 

I have identified 5 positions that I see as absolutely essential positions to make a top tier signing in. Those are: ST, CAM, CM, LB and RW. An additional desirable signing would be another CB as an upgrade on Lindelof, but I think our main attention should be channelled towards the initial 5 positions put forward.

Let's take a look at some names we should be targeting and whether it is more likely that we are able to sign them in January or in the summer of 2020: 

Striker

Name: Moussa Dembele 
Age: 23
Club: Lyon 
Selected Stats: 6 goals in 8 Ligue 1 apps (2019/20)
Play Style: Mix of both back to goal hold-up play and running in behind, good finisher.
Estimated Price: £50 million
Verdict: A possibility in January 

Name: Mario Mandzukic
Age: 33
Club: Juventus  
Selected Stats: 117 goals in 269 apps as a centre-forward, hasn't played a single minute for Juventus this season, so a move away may be appealing. 
Play Style: Target man, key qualities are heading ability, hold-up play, strength and flick-ons.
Estimated Price: £18 million
Verdict: Likely, January 

Name: Timo Werner
Age: 23
Club: RB Leipzig 
Selected Stats: 7 goals in 9 Bundesliga + Champions League apps (2019/20), 16 goals and 9 assists in 30 Bundesliga apps (2018/19). 
Play Style: Quick, especially suited to counter-attacking play, good finisher.
Estimated Price: £50 million
Verdict: A possibility in January

Name: Erling Haaland
Age: 19
Club: Red Bull Salzburg
Selelcted Stats: 18 goals and 5 assists in 11 apps in all competitions (2019/20).
Play Style: Built like a target man, however excels in finding spaces between CB's and running in behind using pace and power to fend off opposition.
Estimated Price:  £40 million
Verdict: Probably more likely to join Leipzig at this stage in his career 

Attacking Midfielder

Name: James Maddison
Age: 22
Club: Leicester City
Selected Stats: Created the most chances in Premier League 2018/19.
Play Style: Creative midfielder, very strong set-piece, crossing and ball retention ability.
Estimated Price: £90 million
Verdict: Summer 

Name: Bruno Fernandes 
Age: 25
Club: Sporting CP
Selected Stats: 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 apps (2018/19).
Play Style: Offers goals threat and creativity, fantastic short and long passing, crossing, dribbling and vision likes to shoot, as close to the perfect attacking midfielder you will find.
Estimated Price: £75 million
Verdict: Summer, unlikely 

Central Midfielder
  
Name: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 
Age: 24
Club: Lazio  
Play Style: Complete midfielder combining both defensive and attacking qualities, can be utilised as an 8, 10 or 6, best as a box-to-box '8', powerhouse.
Estimated Price: £85 million
Verdict: Summer 

Name: John McGinn
Age: 24
Club: Aston Villa
Play Style: All-round midfielder, likes to dribble and dictate the team's play with a mixture of short and long passes, contributes in attack with runs into the box as well as creating chances for teammates. 
Estimated Price: £40 million
Verdict: Summer

Left-Back

Name: Ben Chilwell 
Age: 22
Club: Leicester City 
Play Style: Equal contribution to defence and attack, likes quick combination passes with midfielders, likes to cross along the ground, very good at winning aerial duels.
Estimated Price: £45 million
Verdict: Summer

Name: Lucas Digne
Age: 26
Club: Everton
Play Style: Very attack minded, fantastic crossing and set-piece ability.
Estimated Price: £45 million
Verdict: Summer, unlikely 

Name: Alejandro "Alex" Grimaldo  
Age: 24
Club: Benfica
Play Style: Best quality is his passing ability, also strong at retaining possession, dribbling and crossing.
Estimated Price: £30 million
Verdict: Summer

Right-Wing 

Name: Jadon Sancho
Age: 19
Club: Borussia Dortmund 
Selected Stats: 12 goals and 17 assists in 34 Bundesliga apps (2018/19).
Play Style: Key traits are dribbling and passing, combines being a creative player with being a more than competent finisher.
Estimated Price: £100 million
Verdict: Summer

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