3 positions Manchester United need to fill in January | inside World Soccer

3 positions Manchester United need to fill in January

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Manchester United's defeat in the Manchester derby before the international break has left the Red Devils 12 points behind the Premier League leaders and all but out of the title race for another season.

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José Mourinho's side could now do with ensuring they finish in the top four and qualify for next season's Champions League. However, they are seven points back on those places, down in eighth position. They are now odds against with the bookmakers to finish in the top four. Though these odds may be appealing to some and could be made more appealing with a bet365 bonus code 2019.

United have already been thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur and 3-1 at Manchester City this season which doesn't make great reading for the return matches that they may well need to win to get into the top four come the end of the season. But before they take place there's the January transfer window where Mourinho could upgrade his squad. Here are three positions in particular that United need to invest in:

1. Centre-Back
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward failed to land any of José Mourinho's centre-back targets over the summer and it has been really costly during their opening 12 matches. United have shipped 21 goals already and kept just one clean sheet.

The manager appears to have fallen out with Eric Bailly, which has left a partnership of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelöf in the middle of the back four. Neither of these have played very well against the top teams.

United were linked to Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Jérôme Boateng among others over the summer but it is unlikely they will make a move for either of these in January. In recent weeks Diego Godín's name has been mentioned as a potential winter transfer. He'd certainly be an upgrade on what they currently have.

2. Right-Back
Ashley Young has taken Antonio Valencia's place in the starting lineup in recent weeks, but like the Ecuadorian, the 33-year-old was originally a winger. This showed in the recent Manchester derby where Young's defensive inadequacies were exposed by Manchester City's talented attack. It's not the first time we've seen that happen to the England international this season.

José Mourinho has had a dig at the money City have spent on four full-backs over the past couple of seasons – perhaps United can start to splash the cash in January for a new right-back themselves?

3. Holding Midfielder
Nemanja Matić's poor performances have been highlighted in the media in recent weeks, though in truth, the Serbian started to lose his form during the second half of last season. The 30-year-old hasn't been helped out by big summer signing Fred either.

Manchester United should start to look for Matić's long-term replacement and perhaps bringing in a holding midfielder in January could get the new player settled in before the start of next season. Mourinho doesn't exactly have a ready-made replacement currently for the former Chelsea man should he pick up another injury.

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