Manchester United sit 6th in the league standings with 21 points from 12 matches, but a negative goal difference tells a different story. They are just 4 points off the top four, but the position flatters them. United have only managed 13 goals, conceding 16.
By their standards, Ten Hag’s side is underperforming in the league and currently faces relegation or elimination from European football. But what can be done to steady the ship at Old Trafford?
United need to sign two strikers, a midfielder, and probably two or three defenders: a center-back and right-back.
United signed Rasmus Hojlund in the summer to partner Marcus Rashford upfront, but things haven’t gone according to plan. Rashford has only one league goal so far, with midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay leading the way with three goals apiece. There is optimism that Hojlund will settle in well at United with the right players beside him, but other teams are doing well. You can place your bets on bettors.co.tz for Hojlund to emerge United’s top scorer at the end of the season, provided he gets enough ball supply and has the right players beside him.
If United want to compete with other top-six sides, there is an urgent need for a proven striker. Talks of Brighton’s Evan Fergusson were rife at some point, as well as Victor Osimhen from Napoli joining in January. Nothing is concrete, though, but it is almost certain that Ten Hag will be looking to sign a striker before the next transfer window closes.
Sofyan Amrabat joined on loan, with an option to make his deal permanent. A midfield four featuring Amrabat, defensive Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, and another creative midfielder is needed. Mason Mount arrived at Old Trafford with a lot of hope, but we all know how the story has been. Christian Eriksen is aging and cannot offer what he offered before he was diagnosed with a heart condition. Ten Hag does not seem to trust McTominay enough, despite the Scot’s fantastic run of form, and Antony has become so synonymous with disappointing.
For the best part of the season, United have relied on 35-year-old Jonny Evans, the unpredictable Harry Maguire, and Victor Lindelof. Sergio Reguilon, Luke Shaw, Rafael Varane, and Lisandro Martinez have struggled with injuries, which has not made things even more difficult for Ten Hag.
While we cannot say Evans or Maguire have been the reason for United’s woes, it is safe to say that United need stronger cover at the back. There are talks of Bayer Leverkusen pair of Jeremie Frimpong and Edmond Tapsoba, but with Leverkusen flying in the Bundesliga and the Europa League, it will not be an easy task to convince manager Xabi Alonso to sell.
Whatever happens between now and February, we are almost sure to see changes in the United starting lineup. The recent part-takeover of United could also release funds for more solid acquisitions, but that highly depends on Ten Hag’s ability to identify the right players for United.