Despite going on an eight-game win streak, Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær was not given any funds to spend this January. Despite this, the Red Devils’ top four hopes are not out of sight. With just two points separating fourth and sixth, anything is possible with 14 games left before the end of the season.
Manchester United Could Regain Champions League Spot
Transfers That Should Have Happened
Due to the great results Solskjær has been picking up, fans were optimistic about some reinforcements that could come to Old Trafford this winter. It is evident that United are in dire need of a centre-back, full-back and potentially a right-winger. Perhaps expecting all of the above was unreasonable, however, in order to increase the prospect of competing in the Champions League next season at least one signing would have been needed.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Alex Telles and Alex Sandro were all among the defensive options that were being considered, however, no bids or serious interest was shown by the English club. Any of these players would have bolstered the backline and provided the defensive stability United have longed for years. Dutch winger Steven Bergwijn was also among the names as an attacking addition to Solskjær’s squad, but it seems as if Ed Woodward and the rest of the board have decided to pursue this transfer more seriously in the summer.
Race For Top Four
Chelsea’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth has left the door wide open for both Arsenal and Manchester United to steal the final spot in the top four. United have a tough run of fixtures coming up, including a FA Cup tie against Chelsea and a daunting Champions League matchup with French giants Paris Saint-Germain. Solskjær’s rotation and prioritization of games will be key in this period.
United’s 2-2 draw will definitely feel like two points dropped and they will have to be more clinical in future games to avoid dropping points against mid to low-table sides. Solskjær seems to have learned a lot from the draw and will hope not to repeat the same mistakes. Another sub-par performance by Romelu Lukaku may see him ruled out of the starting eleven completely and, with Anthony Martial signing a new contract, a young and fast front line could be Solskjær’s top choice.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal were able to strengthen with the additions of Gonzalo Higuain and Denis Suarez respectively, but Manchester United do have the talent and capability of challenging these sides despite their new signings.
February will be a crucial time for all three sides as they continue to battle it out to secure Champions League football next season.