Per the new Red Devils manager, Erik ten Hag, Manchester United is in severe need of new defenders but may be unable to recruit any due to the choices they already have.
Erik ten Hag, the recently appointed Manchester United manager, has stated clearly how he intends to address some of the difficulties that have arisen inside the Red Devils’ team, but he has already run into a difficulty.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s leadership, United allowed 57 goals last season, which was the second-worst record of any team that placed in the top 10.
Ten Hag is trying to bring in some defenders who would suit him better as a result, but he might not be successful.
This is due to United’s careless £193 million shopping binge on defenders over the years, which has resulted in very little quality return, as evidenced by their defensive performance last season.
After watching Jurrien Timber’s ascent to the first squad while serving as manager of the Eredivisie giants, Ten Hag is rumored to be in a frantic bid to recruit the Ajax central defender.
However, according to Sky Sports, the United leadership has ranked adding any new defenders as its lowest priority.
This is a result of the enormous number of employees they already have in that division. The cost of the club’s five center backs totals well over £200 million for the Red Devils.
The most expensive player out of that bunch was undoubtedly the much-maligned club captain, Harry Maguire, who cost United £80 million to get him from Leicester City. The maneuver seems to have gotten worse over time.
Despite being a competent central defender at first, Maguire’s confidence has suffered so much that the caliber of his performances has drastically decreased.
In order to relieve some of the pressure, Rangnick actually left Maguire out of the starting eleven toward the close of the previous campaign.
He’s clearly more at ease with summer acquisition Raphael Varane ($35 million) than with Victor Lindelof ($31 million).
The former had high expectations when he was bought from Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid.
While he has fallen short of the caliber of play we saw for years at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Frenchman can be pardoned given that it was his first season playing football in England.
Varane’s success in a United jersey will most likely be determined by the results of the upcoming season.
Lindelof, who was acquired from Benfica five years ago and has never been able to genuinely persuade, can not be claimed to be the same.
Lindelof constantly feels on the verge of making a catastrophic error, despite his obvious brilliance on the field. Eric Bailly is similarly priced and not much better off.
Similar to Lindelof, there are no significant worries about Bailly’s ball skills, but his defensive awareness falls short of what is expected of a United center-back.
Any legacy Bailly may have had at Old Trafford has been soiled by too many expensive missteps in crucial situations, like his own goal just seven minutes into the Manchester derby last season.
For a player who has spent ten years at the club, Phil Jones cost United £17 million, and many would consider that to be excellent business.
Ferguson also made the famous assertion that Jones might end up becoming the greatest player in the club’s glorious history.
Jones has only made a few appearances for the club in the past two years, so it hasn’t exactly happened that way. What appeared to be a spectacular career has been hampered by injuries.
Whether or not he deserved his most recent contract is debatable, but if it prevents Ten Hag from acquiring reinforcements, Jones may come to be viewed by some as little more than a roadblock to advancement.