UPDATE FOLLOWING TRANSFER DEADLINE: Manchester United’s squad issues have been well reported this summer with the team only managing to add Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant as reinforcements in the end.
United were reportedly in hot pursuit of a top central defender as well as bringing in a possible attacker with Anthony Martial’s future looking like it is very much up in the air.
The Red-Devils squad is not only suffering from a lack of new signings following so many players taking extended breaks after the World Cup but also many players are nursing injuries.
United had so many players missing in preseason after waging long campaigns in the World Cup and the squad has had a real lack of continuity so far thus their injury situation is certainly not helping.
New signing Diogo Dalat is already sidelined with a knee cartilage injury which will see him out until mid-September. Fellow new signing Lee Grant was clearly brought to the club as a result of Sergio Romero’s long-term knee problem which leaves the Argentinian international off the field indefinitely.
Nemanja Matic with an abdominal injury after returning from the World Cup is a big miss for United as they head into the new season and his return date is uncertain. Fellow World Cup participant Marcos Rojo is frustratingly on the treatment table again as he nurses a knock and his return date is also unknown.
Antonio Valencia apparently returned from his holiday in poor condition and as a result perhaps sustained a nasty calf muscle injury which sees him as another longer-term absentee and leaves United even more stretched.
As this wasn’t enough the reliable and incredibly under-rated Ander Herrera is a doubt with a hamstring strain for United’s first Premier League game as Leicester City visit Old Trafford. Eric Bailly who has endured a bad couple of seasons with injuries is another doubt for the Friday night kick-off as he has an ankle injury.
With seven first team squad members missing the need for Manchester United to make a significant move in the transfer market to strengthen themselves seemed inevitable though it did not play out that way.
With rumours of deals for Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld and others plus reported bids for Paul Pogba being made by Barcelona the chances of some late United transfer window drama seemed undeniable but as we now know the club were unable to land the experienced centre-back they seemed so desperate to sign.
Despite bids for Diego Godin, loan bids for Jerome Boateng, rumoured strong interest in Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld and Yerry Mina none of the players ended up at Old Trafford so what we wrote a couple of days ago was dead WRONG. Mina joined Everton and United decided to stick with Lindelof, Jones, Smalling and Rojo which is not a bad foursome of options. If Rojo stays fit and Lindelof matures there could yet be the basis of a very a strong partnership.
We now see how the squad looks after the window shut and although we thought there would surely be some key additions and there might even be a departure or two, hopefully Anthony Martial stays at Man United and can reignite his Red-Devils career as the Frenchman is an irresistible talent and could be crucial this season.
Martial remains a United player and we can only hope he still is at the end of the European transfer deadline for the other Leagues around Europe. To lose Martial would be a huge loss particularly as United would not be able to sign another player.
For their part Leicester City have lost key man Riyad Mahrez, sold to Manchester City this summer and do have 7 injuries of their own after the World Cup exertions of their players but their injuries are not as serious as Man United’s with several players only doubts for the Foxes for Friday night. The Foxes did manage to secure a player on deadline day adding centre-back Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb for an undisclosed fee which made the possible sale of Harry Maguire possible but again it did not play out that way.