Premier League champions Manchester United might have won the Premiership last season at a canter but there’s a lot of work still needs to be done in order to roll their juggernaut for new manager David Moyes before the transfer window slams shut. With less than a couple of weeks remaining, the Scot must address three major issues that if left unsolved might cause them problems in coming days.
Wayne Rooney saga
The relationship was already strained since the end of last season and there were hardly any signs of recovery. His position was further made tenable (from Rooney’s point of view) when Moyes clearly stated in the public that the England international will serve merely as second fiddle to Dutchman Robin van Persie.
United have already rejected a formal offer from Chelsea for the talisman. That was probably an easy decision at the start. But, if the Blues table up a £40 million bid, coupled with Rooney handing a transfer request – it will force the Red Devils boss to take the matter seriously, if not taken already.
A quality central midfielder
United have been twice rebuffed by Barcelona for their pursuit of Cesc Fabregas. The new manager clearly felt that this is particularly one area that needs immediate strengthening and has been trying their best to lure the former Arsenal skipper to switch colours in the summer.
Having lost a precious jewel Thiago Alcantara in the summer, Barcelona simply cannot afford to lose yet another central midfielder. Moyes will be forced to line-up a probable replacement, should the La Liga giants say naysay to their third and final offer for the Spaniard.
The wing conundrum
United have been linked with Everton’s Leighton Baines that suggest Moyes is probably feeling that Patrice Evra can no more be trusted as an automatic first choice left-back. But, Moyes must also give a strong attention to his wing options, which has not been highlighted enough in the media (Arjun Some of The Hard Tackle wrote a brilliant piece on this issue).
No other club in this country have probably used wingers so effectively and produced so-many world class wingers over the course of history. However, the wingers United have at the moment really do not strike terrors into the opposition heart, considering their last season’ performance.
Nani has been the ultimate epitome of frustration for United fans. The Portuguese has been blessed with abundance of talent but somehow he finds a way to squander it anyway. In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with him last season, and even chose to slam him in the media, quite uncharacteristically, after his fault allowed Chelsea to come back and win the match against the Red Devils at Stamford Bridge.
Ashley Young came with lots of promise, but injury has kept him more on treatment room than on pitch. Although injury can stand up as an excuse for indifferent forms of both Nani and Young, there is no such mitigating circumstances exists for Antonio Valencia. He has been dreadfully poor and unless he makes a gigantic improvement this season, its very hard to see him continue at United in future.
No wonder why Moyes turned to young Wilfried Zaha and youngster Jesse Lingard in the pre-season, and both now stake a claim for a first team place, through sheer eye-catching performances.
Moyes would definitely try to use them as much as he can in the coming season, but surely he can’t rely too much on players that are yet to taste a single minute of Premier League football. The links with Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo may seem too fanciful at this moment; the Scot will have to trust on his old gnarled pros to do the job for him. Elsewhere, the market is there to exploit, if deemed necessary.