Manchester United endured a difficult spell in the just concluded campaign, a sharp contrast to the previous season, when they finished in second place. Olé Gunner Solksjær had a poor run of games before being replaced by Ralf Rangnick, who struggled to get the team in decent playing shape. Overall, the 21/22 season was rife with inconsistencies and backroom drama comparable to a telenovela.
However, Manchester United looks set to change the narrative in the new season, having commenced a clean sweep at the board level, in the managerial dugout, and on the team sheet.
United fans appreciate the sudden seriousness of the club heads to bring back good football to the Theatre of Dreams, with season tickets selling out quickly. This doesn’t mean fans can’t get tickets to see games, though, as you can still buy Man United tickets at SeatPick and other third-party sites. Another reason for huge ticket sales is down to the employment of Erik ten Hag, whose philosophy is well-known and loved by the United fan base.
The transfer window
United need a proactive approach going into the market, as they qualified for Europe’s second-tier competition—the Europa League. This factor alone could put off top-level players looking to play Champions League football. There’s also a strict budget to follow, which could make purchasing big-name players significantly difficult, especially in this period of high market value.
The need for centre backs
The Maguire-Lindelof partnership helped Manchester United to a second-place finish in the 20/21 season, 12 points behind table-toppers and neighbours Manchester City. The duo had inconsistencies, but fared decently under then-manager Olé Gunner Solksjær. With the addition of Raphael Varane in the summer, United hoped to build on their defensive record from the previous season. But that wasn’t the case.
Harry Maguire put in the performance of a lifetime that handed him the short end of the stick with fans and pundits alike. On the other hand, Victor Lindelof has largely been underwhelming following his fall down the pecking order. Newcomer Raphael Varane had some decent showings but suffered inconsistencies and injuries, which saw him miss 15 games.
The club struggled with the centre back partnership that even Phil Jones got a call-up despite missing active play for two years. Eric Bailly struggled to make the starting line-up when he wasn’t out injured. Axel Tuanzebe, too, has underwhelmed on multiple loan spells at Napoli and Aston Villa, with neither club interested in making a permanent move for the player.
With Jones, Bailly, and Tuanzebe set to cut ties with the club, Manchester United has turned its attention to recruiting players like Pau Torres and Jurrien Timber.
Getting new strikers
Since rejoining Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has been in impeccable form and has been one of the best players in an otherwise dismal season. As a result, Edinson Cavani switched to a more secondary role, which he revealed was frustrating since leaving the club at the end of the campaign.
Other attacking options like Marcus Rashford underwhelmed since returning from the Euros. Mason Greenwood is out for legal reasons, and Anthony Martial seems incapable of recovering his 2019/20 season form. United are in the market for a new striker to ease the pressure of playing Cristiano Ronaldo every other game, with Ajax’s Antony linked to the club as of late.