Man United Beginning To Roar But Still Need More Leaders At The Back

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Manchester United have started to impress under Louis van Gaal’s guardianship. They are currently in fine form, winning seven out of their last nine outings.

Going forward with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria, United look capable of scoring against any side in the Premier League.

So we know they have world class options going forward, so why are they still not true title contenders?

Well its simple, they need more strength and leadership at the back. ManĀ United are still too weak in the defensive department.

They’re helped by having a superb keeper in David De Gea. The Spanish goalkeeper has almost worked miracles at times this season as he has made save after save that has meant the difference in winning vital points and not. But he’s been left vulnerable to easy efforts as the defenders around him lose their heads.

The return of Michael Carrick has also helped the fragile backline. The midfield man has slotted into a back three at times and has lead them well. His leadership at the back, has been critical in propelling his side up the table and keeping them in the ‘Top Four’.

But can Carrick stay there? He’s had his fair share of injuries and for me, he’s still best when deployed as a midfielder.

Johnny Evans should be that leader at the back but like so many at Old Trafford these days, he’s prone to picking up niggling injuries. Plus he still needs to raise his game to become a stalwart like Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were at Man United before him.

I still have reservations about Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Smalling seems to have gone back the way and makes too many silly errors (Just look at the Manchester derby against City), while Jones can’t get a long run of games without breaking down with yet another injury.

New-boy Marcos Rojo is still learning about the English game. Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett are still too young and raw to be given permanent first team roles, in my opinion. They could become world beaters but not this term.

So with all that said, Louis van Gaal still needs to recruit this January to try and balance the ship and become real title challengers. The Dutchman needs a strong voice from a veteran at the back.

Will this type of player be available during next months transfer window?

Someone like Ron Vlaar perhaps, a player that Louis knows well but United fans will need to be convinced. Interest in World Cup winner Mats Hummels has been known about for sometime now, but I doubt Dortmund would sell during this upcoming window. Raphael Varane’s name has been mentioned, a quality centre-back but not the leader they really need. A return for Nemanja Vidic could be on the cards, but is he still physically up to the test?

Just look above Manchester United in the Premier League and you will see the importance of needing a strong leader at the back. Leaders Chelsea have John Terry still performing well week in and week out, while champions Man City have classy captain Vincent Kompany.

Louis van Gaal is smart enough to know where he needs to improve his squad, but the big question now is whether or not a strong, commanding, smart centre half will become available this January.

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