A cursory glance through the Premier League table will show how Manchester United’s defence has crumbled this season as compared to their performances last season.
In manager Erik ten Hag’s first season, United conceded the second-lowest number of goals among all 20 teams while currently, they have conceded the second-most among the top-12 sides in the league.
Add to this the seven they have conceded in two games of the Champions League and it is clear to see that improvements at the back need to be made as soon as possible.
United’s worsening defensive situation
The only way the club can spend money is by selling players and Harry Maguire was one centre-back the club was intent on selling during the summer.
His move to West Ham United broke down after the club failed to agree a pay-off amount with their former skipper. That forced the Red Devils to miss out on the likes of Kim Min-jae, Benjamin Pavard and Jean-Clair Todibo.
Football Insider have claimed that United are continuing their attempts to move Maguire on as soon as possible.
If it occurs in January, a new centre-back might arrive as early as the winter window as per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
“There is a clear goal for the club. The idea is to bring in an important centre-back either in January or the summer.
Martinez injury, Maguire future linked to United’s CB search
“The timing will likely depend on Lisandro Martinez’s recovery but the crucial point to understand is if and when Harry Maguire will leave, as that will also determine what the club does and when in terms of centre-backs.”
The World Cup winner’s absence and the poor injury record of Raphael Varane will no doubt trouble the manager. The club are building a defensive shortlist of targets.
Whether the Glazers will sanction a costly purchase in January remains to be seen. The club did not back Ten Hag in his first season and instead chose to strengthen via the loan market last time around.