Louis van Gaal is not one to mince his words. Making it clear that a defender needs to defend to make his starting line up, it won’t just have been Rafael who was worried after his press conference.
Van Gaal’s men conceded 37 goals last time out, and when you compare that to the statistics in the middle to late noughties where Fergie’s men were conceding under 30 goals a season, it doesn’t make for good reading.
They also kept just 11 clean sheets, which is their worst attempt since the Premier League began back in 1992.
Gone are the days where United could rely on Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in their prime to lead them to a title challenge.
With an ever-changing back four ever since this pair left the club, here are five suggestions for Louis van Gaal and Ed ‘VudVud’ as the Dutchman calls him, to consider bringing in this summer.
The Argentinian centre back is reportedly the second-choice for the Red Devils should they miss out on their first target, Sergio Ramos.
He is currently threatening to go AWOL until his future is sorted out, with club side Valencia stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Otamendi only joined Valencia last summer from Porto after spending four years with the Portuguese giants, but it’s looking like his tour of Europe will continue, with England being his next probable destination.
The man needs little introduction. Just several trophies with Real Madrid, a World Cup, two European Championships among many other team and individual honours to his name. He’d certainly add a wealth of experience and knowhow to that lacklustre United back four.
But, he’ll come at a price.
United want to pay £45 million for his signature, but reports are suggesting Madrid want that doubling.
It could be one that drags out, but who’d have though Bastian Schweinsteiger would’ve upped sticks from Bayern to go to the Premier League or that Petr Cech would leave for Arsenal. Stranger things have happened.
Another one heavily linked with United over the summer. This saga seems to be taking more turns than the British weather. One minute it’s a done deal, the next Hummels doesn’t fancy it. I give up.
All I know is, he’d be a top signing for Van Gaal’s men, and would certainly add some presence to that back four. He wouldn’t be as costly as Ramos either, with figures of around £22 million being whispered.
BVB will definitely be reluctant to let him go, after he’s been a key player in their success in recent years. But, missing out on Champions League football may just tempt him away from the club.
Stefan de Vrij
The Lazio man is one who LVG will know well from his Netherlands days. His performances at the 2014 World Cup under LVG saw him selected in FIFA World Cup All Star team as the Dutch finished third in the tournament.
He’s a quick, powerful, and strong defender, and is highly-rated in the game, with good reason- and is slightly more proven than one decent World Cup wonder Ron Vlaar.
Reports suggest that the Lazio president, Claudio Lotto is keen to resist any bids, but money talks in the modern game, and United may just be able to tempt him over.
The Uruguayan centre-back we love to hate. The man who SHOULD have been sent-off against England in the World Cup last year, after making numerous fouls after already being booked, and a clear handball. Bitter? No.
Joking aside, he’d be a top signing for United, as he’s up there with the best in Europe. The Atleti man has impressed constantly over the past few years, and for me, would be up there in terms of talent as one of the best signings United could make. He’d certainly be in my first two choices.
The United legend himself, Diego Forlan, described Godin as ‘the best in the world’, what more could you want?
I’m astounded he wasn’t in the FIFA Team of the Year for 2014, but I’m sure he’d be in the 2015/16 Premier League Team of the Year if United were to get him on board, with his penchant for big goals almost as useful as his defending.