After a tumultuous season, Manchester United end their campaign with two trophies and achieving their primary objective – qualifying for the Champions League. It has not been the prettiest football played by José Mourinho’s team, but, in the end, the Red Devils triumphed in the Europa League with the utmost amount of pressure on their shoulders.Now that their season has officially ended, Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, will now be trying to acquire the players on Mourinho’s transfer list for this summer. Here are five reasons why Manchester United will have the best transfer window.
#1 Their wealthThe pure amount of wealth that is behind Manchester United is overwhelming. Woodward announced that the club had surpassed the £500m mark for revenue amassed in one football season. The most any club has ever achieved.This means that Manchester United also returned to the top of the Deloitte Money League after finishing third the previous year. With so much money behind Woodward, he has not been shy to spend the Glazers’ fortune on the world’s best players.This has been enforced by the acquisition of Paul Pogba for a record-breaking £89m and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. There has already been strong links to Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann this summer – a player that would only be bought by the activation of his £86m buyout clause.
#2 Woodward’s experience
When Woodward came into the club with David Moyes, his first summer was a hot mess. The executive vice-chairman struggled to sign the players that the club wanted and, in the end, started the new season with Marouane Fellaini as the only signing. The embarrassment of Fellaini’s transfer was that Manchester United could have purchased him for £23m, his release clause, but, instead, they waited and pondered, and, in the end, had to pay over the odds because it had a timer on it. However, three years on, Woodward has grown into the role and shown that he is now capable of bringing in the players that are needed. From the outside, it might look easy to go and sign players or managers given the money they have, but you also have to sell the dream – especially when the club are not in the Champions League and that’s exactly what he did with the likes of Pogba and Ibrahimovic.
#3 Premier League disappointment
After an awful domestic campaign, Manchester United will have to improve on their sixth-place finish next season. There is no doubting that. All will be forgiven given Mourinho’s success in Europe, but they will have to bounce back and catch up on their rivals next season on their home turf. Chelsea and Spurs look well ahead of the Red Devils in terms of their team development and are playing with much fluidity and diligence. To close the gap in the Premier League, United will need to bring in finishers and players that can take chances. Hence why they are routinely being linked with Griezmann and are firmly interested in him. On too many occasions this season, United had injuries which prevented them fielding their strongest team or one that can challenge even the best teams. That is something that needs to be resolved. Injuries are a part of the game, but, as you take notice at Real Madrid when they do occur, Los Blancos are ready to field the likes of Marco Asensio, Isco and Álvaro Morata – very classy and impressive operators. That is the standard Manchester United need to adopt.
#4 Squad overhaul
As we have seen throughout the majority of the season, through injuries and players underperforming, Manchester United are in dire need of a squad overhaul. Players like Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney are rumoured to leaving, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s and Michael Carrick’s contracts might not be renewed and Real Madrid might come in for David De Gea.
In truth, Mourinho needs to recruit a new right back, centre back, Carrick’s replacement, winger and a centre forward. Whether they bring in all of those players is a different story, but they need to pad the squad out and bring in quality too. For the position of right back, Manchester United do not need a starting player – they already have the amazing Antonio Valencia. However, they do need a backup defender that is comfortable there. Timothy Fosu-Mensah might have been substituted there, but, typically, he is a midfielder.
#5 Champions League lure
After qualifying for the prestigious European competition by winning the Europa League, they now have the famous lure of the Champions League to entice the world’s best players. Although they did not need that attraction for Pogba, it will be for Griezmann.Just last week, the French superstar said on French TV that he was at a 6/10 in regards to his chances of joining Manchester United this summer. That was before the final and one would suspect that the remaining 4/10 would be dependent on qualifying for the Champions League. Not every player needs to play in the Champions League, but it sure does help. And in cases like Griezmann, it can make all the difference. Most of Europe’s most established clubs will want the Frenchman’s services, but United look and appear to be in pole position.