The Manchester United fans are feeling content in the Transfer Tavern, but they are beginning to run out of patience with the inconsistency of their current crop of players.
Manchester United teams were characterised by immense quality and an unbreakable winning spirit throughout the Sir Alex Ferguson era, but it’s difficult to argue that those characteristics apply to the current crop of players. Jose Mourinho is working to bring his own brand of football to the club regardless of whether it tickles the fancy of the supporters or not. The Portuguese manager has brought in various players in an attempt to strengthen the side, but he is still miles away from adequately replacing some of The Red Devils superstars from the golden era at Old Trafford.
One area in which United have desperately struggled to improve is in defence, particularly at centre-back where Marcus Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailey and Victor Lindelof have all demonstrated a glaring lack of quality on more occasions than the supporters would perhaps care to admit.
In truth, United’s defence has never recovered from the departure of Nemanja Vidic who was a thoroughly reliable ever-present at the heart of their defence for almost 8 years. His partnership with Rio Ferdinand built the foundations from which Ferguson’s teams could thrive between 2006 and 2014, and United’s failure to replace the Serbian has undoubtedly restricted their progress in recent years.
Therefore, Mourinho must recognise this fact next summer and sign a centre-back of genuine quality who can restore some well-needed stability to United’s unpredictable defensive unit. And according to The Daily Mirror, United are interested in doing exactly that by signing Lazio’s centre-back Stefan De Vrij (valued at £31.5 million by Transfermarkt) when he becomes a free agent next summer. If Mourinho wants to see a genuine improvement in his side, then he simply must fend off the reported competition from Everton and Arsenal to secure his signature.
The 26-year-old has been one of the standout performers in Lazio’s Serie A campaign so far in which they have defied expectation to mount a challenge for Champions League qualification. De Vrij possesses all of the attributes of a top quality defender, the only question mark that exists concerns his ability to adapt to the style and pace of English football.
However, considering De Vrij will be available on a free transfer, the potential benefits of his impact certainly outweigh the minor risks, and if the Dutch international replicates his form from Serie A in the Premier League then United could finally replace Vidic after almost half a decade of defensive disappointment.