Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is already planning for the summer transfer window.
Finishing second with a staggering 19 points adrift of champions Manchester City and a defeat in the FA Cup final against Chelsea have shown Mourinho the sharp reality that this squad needs work in certain areas.
The backline currently looks the weakest. Mourinho will want to ensure he gets a reliable defender and a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick so that his team can challenge cross-town rivals Manchester City for the title.
While Mourinho has already claimed that he won’t sign any attacking players, the Portuguese may be tempted to add one after witnessing how toothless his team was in the FA Cup final defeat in the absence of Romelu Lukaku.
Without further ado, let us have a look at a dream Man United XI featuring their key summer targets.
Dream United XI
Manager: Jose Mourinho
David De Gea (GK)
Arguably the best goalkeeper on the planet, David De Gea is set to retain his place for United next season.
Antonio Valencia (RB)
Antonio Valencia has been the undisputed first-choice right-back under Mourinho. At 32, the Colombian is going strong and was one of the consistent performers in United colours this campaign.
Eric Bailly (CB)
Strong and reliable, Eric Bailly is United’s best defender when fully fit. However, injuries have halted the Ivorian’s progress but he is the real deal.
Toby Alderweireld (CB)
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is being heavily linked with a move to United and he would be an immediate upgrade on the current options. Strong in the air and composed on the ball, the Belgian has established himself as one of the finest centre-backs in the Premier League.
Luke Shaw (LB)
United desperately need a new left-back after Mourinho trusted Ashley Young over Luke Shaw in the recently concluded season. Young has done admirably well but he is not a long-term solution. While United would be willing to shell out a lot of money for a new left-back, Mourinho must hand Shaw a lifeline next season.
Nemanja Matic (CDM)
The signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea last summer was one of the shrewdest pieces of business by United in recent years. Matic adapted well and was a consistent performer throughout the season, hardly missing a game or two. The Red Devils desperately needed a defensive midfielder and finally, they have got one to bank on for the next few years.
Paul Pogba (RCM)
Another season passed by and we see Pogba’s best in flashes. The Frenchman has everything in his locker to become a complete midfielder but has failed to live up to the expectations so far. However, Pogba has done well in patches and he would benefit from an addition in midfield.
Is Fred the long-term Carrick replacement? Will he be able to provide Pogba with the freedom to express himself freely? Only time will tell but United are reportedly closing in on the £53m signing of the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder.
Fred has garnered a lot of attention for his impressive displays this season. He may be termed as a defensive midfielder by some but the Brazilian is much more than that. Quick and agile with good technique, Fred stands to be a fine fit for United.
Alexis Sanchez (LW)
A lot was expected from Sanchez when he arrived at United from Arsenal. But Sanchez has failed to live up to the hype and has struggled to fit into Mourinho’s style of play. However, a pre-season would largely benefit the Chilean as United’s new No.7 would look to silence his detractors next season.
Mourinho is keen to bring Willian but Chelsea will not wish to lose another player to United following the sale of Nemanja Matic.
Fast, versatile and a goal-threat, Willian would bolster United’s attacking ranks by adding freshness and a new dimension. He could also become the ideal player to solve the club’s search for a right-winger.
Romelu Lukaku (ST)
Lukaku has performed extremely well in his debut season at United and will lead the line again next term. There has been a massive improvement in the Belgian’s overall game under Mourinho. After a fine start to his life at Old Trafford, Lukaku would be hungry for an even better season next time.