The changes Man United should make in order to challenge for the Premier League

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Man United improving

Manchester United’s run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t always been plain sailing.

The Norwegian’s return to the club did look to give United an initial lift, with Solskjaer taking them on a 12-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

However, reality would eventually set in, and Man United’s end to the 2018/19 campaign was rather dismal, winning just one of seven league ties.

The Red Devils recruited fairly well in the summer, with Solskjaer and co. addressing a couple of problem areas by spending big on both Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Granted, United may have paid over the odds for these players, especially Maguire, but they do look to have improved their backline somewhat.

The Red Devils then had a rather up and down first-half to the current campaign.

But the arrival of Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford at the back end of January certainly looks to have strengthened the Manchester powerhouse a fair bit.

The former Sporting standout has managed nine outings for United so far, none of which they have lost.

So, with United seemingly heading in the right direction as they look to get back on top, the upcoming transfer window could be crucial to their future success.

As a result, here are the changes that they should make, and how Manchester United could line up for the upcoming season.

Changes at the back

Starting at the back, David de Gea hasn’t been at his best for the past two seasons or so.

But the Spaniard is still a decent keeper, and replacing him is unlikely to be high on Man United’s list of priorities this year.

United should also be looking to stick with their two defensive signings from last summer.

Both Maguire and Wan-Bissaka have had solid campaigns in Manchester, and will likely form a key part of United’s backline for the next few seasons.

Wan-Bissaka could perhaps improve the attacking side of his game, but the Englishman has already started to do so this term.

An area Manchester United should be looking to strengthen this summer, though, is the centre-back spot next to Maguire.

Victor Lindelof has been okay this season, but if United wish to start challenging for the title again, they should look to move the Swede on.

As they found out with Maguire, signing a top centre-back in today’s market probably won’t be cheap, but it is likely going to be necessary for Man United to get back on top.

One potential option for United could be Benfica’s Ruben Dias.

Despite being just 22 years of age, Dias has a wealth of experience in Europe and on the international stage.

The final spot in the Red Devils’ defence could be afforded to Brandon Williams.

The 19-year-old has put in some superb displays this term, and could be Man United’s main left-back for years to come.

No Paul Pogba

Whilst some people may not be too pleased about this, Man United should perhaps look to offload Paul Pogba this summer.

There is no doubting that the Frenchman possesses bags of talent. But as he has showcased throughout his second stint at Old Trafford, getting him to be consistent is pretty hard.

And if United could get a decent fee for him this summer, they should probably take it.

It was recently reported that Juventus have offered Aaron Ramsey as part of a player plush cash deal for Pogba.

So, with Bruno Fernandes now providing the creativity that United’s midfield has been crying out for in the absence of Pogba, perhaps they would be better served taking Juventus up on that deal.

If it is indeed true, Man United would get some extra cash to spend on other areas of their squad, whilst also getting a solid midfielder in Ramsey.

And with Fernandes now the attacking outlet in midfield, the Welshman may actually be a better fit and provide more balance to United’s midfield three.

With Ramsey in the squad, Fernandes could be given somewhat of a free-roaming role whilst the now Juventus man and Scott McTominay or Fred provide more defensive cover.

Jadon Sancho on the right

As for Manchester United’s attack, the main area they need to address in the near future is their right-wing spot.

Daniel James does a decent job in that role when he plays, but he isn’t a right-winger by trade, and is also somewhat inexperienced.

Man United already look to be eyeing some fresh legs in that spot, though, with Jadon Sancho heavily linked.

Sancho would certainly take United’s front three to the next level, with the Borussia Dortmund man having scored 14 and assisted 16 in just 23 league outings in 2019/20.

And should they land Sancho, United probably wouldn’t need to splash the cash on another top centre-forward.

Signing Odion Ighalo on a permanent basis as a back-up striker would likely be a good idea.

But if Man United are able to put out a front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho, they should have enough firepower to see off most teams.

Martial is somewhat inconsistent in front of goal, but despite largely playing out wide, Sancho and Rashford have great goalscoring records this term, and should be able to ease the burden on the Frenchman.

Man United’s predicted XI

See also: Best Netflix, Amazon & YouTube football documentaries & movies to watch during coronavirus isolation

Best football podcasts to listen to during coronavirus quarantine

9 best football documentaries to watch on ESPN+ during COVID-19 quarantine