For the first time since 2005, Manchester United have failed to sign a player in the January transfer window. If the results do not improve soon, the atmosphere at Old Trafford could turn acerbic and mutinous.
Louis van Gaal has taken a big gamble here. He previously stated that he would not buy players just for the sake of buying. He said earlier this month:
“They must be of a certain quality because I do not want to buy players just for the sake of buying, and I do not want to bring in players as short-term solutions.”
Despite United’s inconsistent form in the league (two wins in their last 10 games), the Dutchman has been quite confident of a successful title challenge.
“Four clubs are above us and it will be difficult to get past them, but not impossible,” he said. “In various leagues you have seen this sort of thing happen before and at this stage we just have to believe we can do it. The first thing to do is start winning games and if you can keep doing that then you can start to put pressure on others.”
United are still capable of winning the title. They might go on a long stretch of unbeaten run towards the end, but based on what we saw so far, it looks difficult for United to maintain such kind of form.
New additions would have definitely helped. Here we take a look at five players United could have signed in January.
Cavani was reportedly keen to join a club that could offer him a chance to play in his favourite #9 role. His relationship with PSG manager Laurent Blanc has turned sour and the former Napoli striker has expressed his unhappiness for being used in wide positions. United reportedly made an offer to sign the Uruguayan, but probably the Red Devils didn’t push hard enough for the transfer to go through.
The Brazilian would have been an ideal signing for United. He is fast, skilful, and versatile. United made several contacts with the player’s agent, but they weren’t willing to meet Lazio’s asking price.
The CSKA Moscow striker, also wanted by Leicester, could have been a good addition to the squad. However, United weren’t willing to pay £23m for the Nigerian.
While United are choc-a-bloc with central midfielders at present, the Red Devils are probably looking to add more quality in that area probably with a view to replacing ageing Michael Carrick.
Argentine midfielder Banega was linked with a move to Old Trafford in January, but United probably didn’t show enough interest in him. The same can be about Fulham’s Moussa Dembele or Benfica’s Renato Sanches, both were linked with United during the transfer window.
Long list of Full backs
United was desperate to sign a full-back in January, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt to get one. The likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Omar Elabdellaoui had been linked with a move on deadline day, but it was probably too late to conclude a deal by that time.