Manchester United fans are still fuming.

They had a terrible transfer window with almost no support from the owners, the Glazer family, CEO Ed Woodward, and Head of Corporate Development Matt Judge.

The Red Devils did not manage to complete even one priority signing of manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s targets, which included the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Dayot Upamecano. In a desperate attempt to salvage something, the board did manage to bring in Alex Telles from FC Porto and 33-year-old Edinson Cavani on a free transfer after the Uruguayan left Paris Saint-Germain and had not played football in 7 months. They also signed two youngsters in Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo. The Red Devils only managed to sign Dutch central midfielder, Donny van de Beek from Ajax before the deadline day.

The transfer window is closed till January, so it is up to Manchester United’s manager and coaching staff to get things right with the current squad. One must not forget that it was this same squad before the signings that finished 3rd in the Premier League so the team does not lack the talent. The system is broken and there seem to be no tactics in place. Solskjaer has been with the squad for over a year and a half and the club does not have a footballing identity yet. They majorly rely on the talent of the attacking players in the squad that they have an abundance of. United has one of the best young attacks in world football with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial but a lot of their goals are either penalties or individual brilliance. As important as it may be for the Old Trafford club to defend better, the problem starts with the manager not having a plan of action or a systematic way of setting up the team to avoid getting caught on the counter and learning to break up play in the midfield.

The simple counter-attacking style does not work anymore in the Premier League especially if the full-backs are static and do not close spaces or the wide areas quick enough. It does not help the manager when he is not backed in the transfer market knowing that there are holes that need to be filled especially, in the central defensive roles. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are both liable to being caught out, being beaten by pace, or just falling asleep in defence. No one is authoritative or taking control of the backline. The club needs a leader and Harry Maguire, current club captain, does not seem to be it.

Love United Hate Glazers (LUHG)

The LUHG Movement is picking up. (Photo: Leo Reynolds, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Eric Bailly is very unreliable, which meant that United have had to look to sign someone from other clubs to fill in that void hence, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, AS Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile and Villareal’s Pau Torres were all targets for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The United front office failed to back the manager. Gabriel Magalhaes was also on United’s radar but then moved to Arsenal as there was no clarity from the United’s transfers in charge that they would be making a bid. It seems like they deeply missed out on talent.

Donny van de Beek was United’s best signing. Although Jack Grealish was Solskjaer’s target, Aston Villa’s asking price of £80 million was too high so Manchester looked elsewhere. They managed to bring in Ajax’s van de Beek for half of the asking price of Grealish so it ended up being a great signing for the Red Devils, adding to their squad depth. Van de Beek scored on his debut in the loss to Crystal Palace after coming on a substitute and has looked like one of the club’s best players already.

Alex Telles is another great acquisition. The Brazilian left-back is seemingly an upgrade to Luke Shaw and has improved United’s left side on the attacking end. He is a set-piece specialist and has a knack of contributing to goals. Cavani seems to have been a desperation buy for the club, however. It is a gamble that Manchester United has chosen to take once more.

This is how Manchester United is likely to set up: 4-2-3-1
David de Gea
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Victor Lindelof – Harry Maguire – Alex Telles
Scott McTominay – Fred
Bruno Fernandes
Mason Greenwood – Marcus Rashford
Anthony Martial

How Manchester United should set up (potential best XI): Make-shift 4-3-3
David de Gea
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Axel Tuanzebe – Harry Maguire – Alex Telles
Scott McTominay
Bruno Fernandes – Donny van de Beek
Mason Greenwood – Marcus Rashford
Anthony Martial