Although the January transfer window is renowned for being a somewhat tepid affair, Juan Mata‘s arrival at Manchester United last season in a club record deal showed that sometimes big transfers can happen. Of course, the fact Jose Mourinho didn’t want him played a major role in his departure from Chelsea but United are in need of an equally as major arrival in defence.
There’s no questioning where United’s weakness has been this season – defensively. Continuous injury problems has left Van Gaal with a makeshift defence in almost every game. Far from Jones, Smalling and Evans having their ‘most available seasons’ as predicted by United’s medical staff, they have done nothing but traded and shared places on the treatment table which is why United should be looking at bringing in a new defender in January.
Diego Godin is somebody who would add that much needed big game experience and his injury record would fill Van Gaal with confidence that he could play more than a couple of games without getting injured. The same goes for his Atletico Madrid team-mate Miranda.
It might be controversial but I’m not sure Mats Hummels is the signing United need. He’s a great defender on his day but he has an injury record that rivals Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans. Do United really need another injury prone defender? No, quite the opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, Hummels joining would improve United’s defence but his injury record makes me think there are better options out there, especially considering Hummels would likely cost over €30m.
Rumours linking Ezequiel Garay with United are likely to resurface despite him only moving to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer. The Argentinian defender is similar to Godin in that he would be the experienced head Van Gaal wants and he’d be relatively cheap in comparison to the likes of Hummels and Godin.
Closer to home, Ron Vlaar and Nathaniel Clyne will be linked in January. Is Vlaar the answer to United’s defensive problems? In the short term, he would improve United’s options but whether he would be a long term fix is up for debate.
As for Clyne, Ashley Young‘s injury and Rafael being out of form means United are in need of a new right-back. Clyne has been in fine form with Southampton this year and at 23 would be a great long term prospect.
With all of these, any deal depends first and foremost on clubs being willing to sell but United have some serious financial power now that the club are investing heavily into new players, money shouldn’t be a problem.
Either way, expect it to be a busy month of news and rumours at the very least.