The ongoing Premier League campaign has seen Manchester United’s noisy neighbours literally running away with the title, and Christmas is still four days away. The Red Devils are lagging Manchester City by 11 points and their shock exit in the League Cup at the hands of unfancied Bristol City have them reeling.
Romelu Lukaku has not been as prolific as he was expected to be, and ‘hyped’ is the word used on United’s £75 million summer recruit. Paul Pogba has not really fired either, and the midfield and the strike-force look like they need some kind form of inspiration. So even if United are to have a realistic chance of staying in the title-race post-Christmas, who are the players that can come in January and inspire the same? We take a look at three such possible winter-transfers for Manchester United.
While United are packed with options on the flanks, they are choked on performers. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been used on the wings without much success, as has Juan Mata, whose physicality has always been under the scanner. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been used alternatively, but neither has shown any game-changing qualities. Current Internazionale player Perisic is a versatile option, seeing that he can play as a central midfielder and also on the flanks.
Strength and pace are two of his finest attributes and he is also prolific when it comes to scoring. He has combined well with Serie A’s top scorer so far, Mauro Icardi, as his team are currently third while breathing down the necks of the top two. The Croatian himself has seven goals this season, and is one of the more reliable and experienced players. He snubbed a move to Old Trafford after being linked for almost the entire summer, but United most certainly will rekindle their interests in the 28-year-old when the January transfer window opens up.
Defence has also been one of United’s enemies this season. While they have had no problems in scoring a good few goals, the backline has been frail with plenty of errors. The Red Devils have been tracking Rose for the past few seasons, and the Englishman himself stated his desire to leave White Hart Lane in search of a more lucrative deal and of course, trophies. Tottenham Hotspur do not want to sell the left-back to a Premier League rival, but would be tempted if the offer is good enough.
The 27-year-old has had injury problems of late and Spurs were heavily exposed as they missed his services on the flanks. A tireless customer who is defensively strong as well as swift in attack, Rose may be the perfect option to bolster United’s squad. Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of the player, and the fallout with Luke Shaw could also trigger a swap with Tottenham Hotspur. Either way, Rose’s addition would give a major boost to the squad.
The Frenchman may be a slightly unrealistic option, given that even if a splurge does work out, he will not be able to play in the Champions League, should United qualify further. Yet an offer seems viable as the 26-year-old has been a long-term target for United, who are ready to shell out any number for his services. His addition would no doubt give the United attacking line a mean look, as he is equally prolific while scoring and providing.
It would take much doing to convince Atletico Madrid to part ways with Griezmann in January, but Mourinho’s persistence and the opportunity to play for one of the most successful clubs in footballing history might tempt a move, which would in no way come cheap. Atletico got knocked out of the UEFA Champions League themselves this season, and with him having no way of playing the competition, in any case, he might push for a move.