Manchester United’s title bid got off to the perfect start as they earned a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, courtesy of a Kyle Walker own goal. Although the 13-time Premier League champions were far from their vintage best, United held their nerve to claim all three points from their opening fixture and, momentarily, sat at the top of the table.
Louis van Gaal’s side have been active in the transfer window this summer, bringing in a number of players whilst others have moved away from Old Trafford. Robin van Persie, Luis Nani, Rafael da Silva and Tom Cleverley were all deemed surplus to requirements and have moved on to other clubs.
Meanwhile, United’s goalkeeper situation remains up in the air. While the Red Devils brought in Argentina international Sergio Romero, David de Gea is still a Manchester United player. If Louis van Gaal’s side can keep the Spaniard for another season, they will stand an excellent chance of challenging for the title. If they lose De Gea, they may struggle to maintain a title charge. That’s not a disservice to Sergio Romero but more just how good David de Gea actually is.
Defensively, the Reds still look shaky and supporters are pleading for reassurance. Many have called for Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, while others have suggested hijacking Chelsea’s move for Everton defender John Stones. Either way, the Red Devils are light at the back and could certainly do with a world class centre-half to partner Chris Smalling at the heart of the defence.
Similarly, United lack firepower in attack. If you take Wayne Rooney out of the equation, the Red Devils have James Wilson and Javier Hernandez as their only recognised strikers. Furthermore, Rooney is not the player that he used to be and often struggles to last 90 minutes – particularly in intense matches. The United captain should be used carefully as he hunts down Sir Bobby Charlton’s longstanding club goalscoring record.
In midfield, Van Gaal’s side are exceptionally strong and boast one of the strongest units in the Premier League. United acquired Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger earlier this summer and both players have adapted immediately to the Dutchman’s system and philosophy. The former Southampton star has been one of the most consistent players in England’s top flight in recent years while the Germany international has brought aggression and experience to the side.
In theory, Manchester United can win the Premier League this season. However, the 20-time English champions must invest if they are to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. As it stands, United’s defence remains shaky while Wayne Rooney is under severe pressure to perform as the lone striker. With a couple of signings, and a bit of luck, Van Gaal’s side could be celebrating yet another title success at the end of the season.