Reports claim Manchester United manager David Moyes wants eight new players this summer, so what would that mean for the players he currently has?
Manchester United need to sign quality reinforcements this summer. That is nothing new. But eight!
That was the suggestion from the Daily Mail earlier this week; the paper claiming that David Moyes was seeking a significant number of new arrivals, in a summer when his transfer activities and pre-season preparations are likely to be blighted by the World Cup.
Previously there had been suggestions of four or five new faces; while some ex-players and pundits had gone as high as six. But to add two more to that number begs the question: How quickly and how well will all these hypothetical new faces bed in at Old Trafford?
Strangers rarely play well together. And Moyes cannot afford the time it will take virtually an entire team to get comfortable with each other.
But the report got me thinking. If United really are about to bring in eight new players, where are they planning on strengthening? And who makes way?
With Nemanja Vidic off to Inter Milan and Rio Ferdinand three years his senior and in the final months of his own contract with doubts remaining over a new one, Moyes is going to need a centre-back or two.
Similarly Patrice Evra’s future remains in question, while reports have previously suggested that the United boss is seeking a right-back to either compete with or replace Rafael.
So let’s say he plans an entire defensive overhaul. That is four new players. David de Gea is well on his way to becoming one of the world’s best goalkeepers so his place is bank-vault-safe.
But the midfield is another matter. And surely that is where the remaining four hypothetical arrivals will be based.
United need two new central midfielders (ideally of the quality of Toni Kroos and William Carvalho). Of their current players, only Michael Carrick can realistically stake a claim to remain a first-choice pick and Moyes will need strength in depth, with Darren Fletcher a worthy back-up option.
Then there are the wide positions. The best wingers are amazing to watch and, most importantly, they understand their ability.
They do not need to think about beating a man, they just do it. They have pace, belief, and the skill to put the ball on a six-pence. That is what United need on both flanks.
With Moyes well stocked in attacking positions in the form of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa, it is surely the midfield and defence that this potentially huge summer spending spree will look to strengthen.
Eight players – four across the back and four across the middle.
But then again, with rumours that the likes of Hernandez and Kagawa could be on their way, and with the reports surrounding van Persie going nowhere, Moyes may need another goal-scorer after all.
image: © Jon Candy