There might not be anything glamorous about it, but you need to build a solid defence before you can even think about competing for trophies at the highest level.
Man United have problems in every single phase of play so it’s impossible to blame one area of the pitch for everything, but you do have to think they would fare better if they could find a solid defensive partnership that offers a platform for the rest of the team to play.
Every single CB has a fatal flaw just now, whether it’s Harry Maguire’s inability to move, Raphael Varane’s injury issues, Victor Lindelof’s hesitancy and weakness in the air, or even Eric Bailly’s tendency to over-pursue or make wild decisions, so they need to focus on that next summer.
It’s going to take a combination of quick fixes and long-term planning, but Calciomercato are reporting that Stefan De Vrij wants a move this summer, preferable to the Premier League, and the Inter Milan title winner could cost as little as €20m.
There’s a caveat that he’s 30 years old and did have one major injury a few years ago at Lazio, but he’s pretty reliable when it comes to fitness and there are no notable weaknesses in his game. He’s solid on the ball, he anticipates well and he’s physical enough to handle the challenges that would come in the Premier League, so he could be a great partner for Varane for a couple of seasons.
The main problem is still Harry Maguire and if the new manager will be forced to keep playing him or if they can finally admit defeat and go for a full defensive rebuild, but a move for the Dutchman should be relatively cheap and just what they need just now.