Manchester United have been sliding down since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013. Two managers have been sacked in the space of three years, something that is unheard of at Old Trafford. The hierarchy at United decided to appoint Jose Mourinho as their new manager after sacking Louis Van Gaal hours after the Dutchman lifted the FA Cup. Mourinho is a serial winner and there will be a lot expectations surrounding his reign. He will also be aware of the fact that if his team don’t start producing results quickly then fan’s opinions could quickly turn against him.
Mourinho has already added three very quality players to the United squad. After the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester United have a deadly front three including Anthony Martial who can potentially destroy defences if they play up to their potential. With Martial and Mkhitaryan’s pace on the counter and Zlatan’s trickery and technical ability, United’s attack are well set up to play both on the counter as well as with possession. However there are still some areas which need to looked at before United kick off their season with the Community shield. Recent reports have linked United with a move for Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen.
Even though United have a wealth of options in the middle of the field, they looked lost for ideas on numerous occasions last season. They need someone who can bring that burst of energy in the midfield. Carrick is not exactly a spring chicken, he might be very reliable but lacks the pace to orchestrate play. Schneiderlin still has a lot to prove after a disappointing first season at Old Trafford. Allen, who starred for Wales at Euro 2016, has entered the final year of his contract, and Liverpool are said to be willing to sell the 26-year-old after failing to begin talks over an extension.
The former Swansea man would be a perfect candidate to replace the ageing Carrick, Allen would bring control and calmness to the midfield, assuming Carrick’s responsibility, but with a higher degree of energy and intensity. Allen would also allow the likes of Schneiderlin to focus completely on shielding the back four, while he dictates play in the final third. He has also shown during his time at Liverpool that he can be a very valuable asset from the bench. He is an impact substitute, who is very much capable of influencing games in the latter stages.
It is also worth noting that buying a player from their direct rivals, will give a mental edge to United going into the new season. He will certainly be a useful player, who can deliver if given the right environment and opportunities.