Manchester United have one of, if not, the biggest wage lists in world football, it would be more important to streamline the squad rather than drastically add to it. Ole Gunnar Solskjær would do very well if he can shift multiple players out of the club this summer and free up squad places for people that can come in a contribute more to the club.
The Red Devil’s have so much deadwood in the club that has to be sorted out, doing this will relieve any potential FFP (financial fair play) scares. The worries are there due to the club having less income from not playing Champions League football regularly.
One player that needs to be shifted is Jese Lingard. The “proverbial youngster” has been at United since 2011 and was part of the Youth Academy. Lingard has had purple patches of form at Old Trafford, but they are coming fewer and farther apart. This season the now 27-year-old has only scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists in thirty-five appearances in all competitions
More importantly, none of these goals or assists has come in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjær has already replaced Lingard with January signing Bruno Fernandes, who has proved to be a revelation in his short United career.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are two more ex-England Internationals that should be put on the transfer list this summer. Like Lingard, both have had their time at United and it is now time for them to move on with their careers.
Smalling has been on loan at Roma this season and has been doing himself justice. So much so there have been talks from Roma that they would be keen to make the loan a permanent move ahead of the 2020-21 season. Phil Jones, on the other hand, could be signed by most of the league by his reputation alone. If these three left the club, it would free up around £200,000 per week in wages at least.
United have kept the second most clean sheets in Europe this season, only behind French Giants PSG. This defensive solidity has come from partnerships of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. The England Captain and towering Swede have formed a very solid partnership at the back. They have been well supported by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and youngster Brandon Williams. Next season could see a very solid United side.
More players that could be shifted out of the club are midfielders Juan Mata and Nemanja Matić. The midfielders are both on the wrong side of thirty and are costing the club a fortune in wages. If the club is to move forward, then they should cash in on the veterans while they can still get a decent price for them.
One other player that could be shifted out is Paul Pogba, controversial I know. The World-Cup-Winner has hardly played this season for one reason or another, but a player who is earning over £290,000 per week and not playing should not be at the club. It is also becoming difficult to see where he would fit into the side, especially with the form of Scott McTominay, Fred and Fernandes.
United could find replacements in the team who will work for the team and not for themselves. One player that could be brought in to strengthen the midfield is S.S. Lazio playmaker Luis Alberto. The 27-year-old is flying in the Serie A, he has scored 5 goals and assisted 14 in thirty appearances this season. Alberto had been key to Lazio’s title challenge before the league was postponed due to Coronavirus fears.
The Spaniard can play in a few roles in midfield which means he could provide the attacking threat Pogba and Lingard offered. He can also play as a deep-lying playmaker and help out with defensive duties for the side. This utility could make him a perfect replacement for out-going midfielders.
Alberto would leap at a chance to return to England and prove his doubters at Liverpool wrong. Lazio will not want to lose such a key player for cheap, however, the fee would not be as high as his midfield partner Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who has been previously linked to United for fees upwards of £80 million.
Another place Manchester United should try to strengthen is the attack. United’s season has suffered because of injuries to key striker Marcus Rashford. Odion Ighalo has arrived on loan as a stopgap until the summer, but a long-term answer if needed if United are to progress as a team.
At PSV there is the perfect attacker for United. Donyell Malen has had a breakthrough season in Holland following his move from Arsenal two years ago. The Dutchman is similar in style as Antony Martial and Rashford, blessed with trickery and pace he could become the third part of a frightening dynamic front three.
Malen has scored 11 goals and assisted 5 in only fourteen appearances this season. At only 21-years-old he has a lot of time to adjust to the Premier League and adapt to its tough conditions. The youngster is valued at £25 million on TransferMarkt.com and United should easily be able to attract Malen to Old Trafford.
As there could be a lot of out-goings this summer, especially in the midfield, United would need to get someone through the door. With the hope that they can help provide cover and make an impact from the bench.
A rogue name could provide United with a differential. Ole Gunnar Solskjær could make a wise acquisition of Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. The former Liverpool player could make a massive impact for United off the bench. Shelvey is one of the best passers of the ball and could work wonders setting off counterattacks with the quick front three of Rashford, Martial and Malen.
Shelvey has struggled up in Newcastle recently for game-time, so he could be available for a reasonable price to play a back-up role at Old Trafford. United could return to its former glory with a more sensible transfer approach and build a team rather than a collection of individuals.