However, despite stealing the headlines with those audacious coups, there remains an undercurrent of concern among the fanbase over the neglected position of midfield.
While it’s a sentiment that could prompt snorts of derision from envious rivals, it’s a concern that has also been voiced by The Athletic’s resident United expert, Carl Anka.
Those nagging midfield shortcomings are viewed through the prism of the disappointing Europa League Final defeat to Villareal back in May.
That night, United’s familiar weaknesses were laid bare by the wily, experienced figure of ‘Yellow Submarine’ coach Unai Emery.
Anka believes the Red Devils ended up on the losing side due to a lack of aerial dominance at centre-back, an underpowered right side and dysfunctional defensive midfield.
The first two issues were addressed with the signings of Varane and Sancho, but what of “a pivot of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba (that was) unable to shield the back four or set the table for the attackers…”?
It’s difficult to disagree with the assertion that, “United’s defensive midfielders either lack the mobility (Nemanja Matic), consistency (Fred) or raw defensive ability (Scott McTominay) to work…next to Pogba.”
Although the ‘McFred’ pairing is commended for its occasional effectiveness, “McTominay’s recent injury highlights the dearth of proper playing options United have for this role…
“Lack of central midfield reinforcement also means Donny van de Beek’s playing time will likely limit him to covering for Fernandes in the No 10 position, rather than in outings as a box-to-box No 8.”
It would be churlish to claim that United have had anything other than a very good window and, perhaps, the demand for a midfielder ignores the broader advances that have been made to assemble the best squad seen at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson’s heyday.
Maybe a perfect window was economically unrealistic and the enduring anxiety over a failure to improve the heart of the side will prove to be unfounded.
However, as Anka concludes, it’s impossible for Reds’ fans to shake the suspicion that, “…until (the club) bolsters central midfield, it is still hard to call this squad a title-winning one.”
Ironically, the true rate of the Red Devils’ progress could become clear at the end of September, as United find themselves once again paired with newfound nemesis Villareal in the Champions League.