What Could the Manchester United Defence Look Like Next Season?

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had one of the best defences in the world. In more recent times, the Scot had the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic commanding his backline. Despite the historic success there, however, the Scottish manager’s retirement brought with it United’s four best defenders, with Patrice Evra, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, and Vidic leaving within a few years of Ferguson.

Since then, the Red Devils have not been able to recreate this glory. Players like Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who would not have made the squad in Fergie’s era, were starting game in game out, but of late it has improved. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has established a regular central defensive partnership of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw flanking them, and with promising youngsters and links to interesting signings, what will the Manchester United defence look like next season?

What Could the Manchester United Defence Look Like Next Season?

This Season

Some regularity was established in United’s defence this season. The centre-backs of Lindelof and Maguire have been solid, and with Eric Bailly recovering from injury to provide competition it has looked even better.

At fullback, they also have multiple top-quality options. Wan-Bissaka, arguably the best right-back in the Premier League, has been an incredible signing, hardly letting anyone past him. And with promising youngster Diogo Dalot as a second choice, the Manchester side have the future of that position sorted. The left side also has much promise for the future. Luke Shaw, despite looking poor at the beginning of the season, found his form at the start of 2020 and looked like a first-class fullback before the suspension of football. 19-year-old Brandon Williams, who broke into the first-team this season, is now providing good competition for Shaw and looks like he could become one of the world’s best.

Although the Red Devils have finally encountered some success in defence, it is not complete, and they may try to make a signing there over the summer.

What It Could Look Like Next Season

While there are strong rumours that United are looking into new attackers and midfielders, there is less to suggest that a defender is a high priority. Despite this, they are still being linked with a number of centre-backs, including £90 million rated Kalidou Koulibaly and RB Leipzig youngster Dayot Upamecano. Should they sign either of the aforementioned players, they would come in to partner Harry Maguire and allow for more depth in the position with Phil Jones likely to leave in the summer.

Despite these possibilities and the high chance that both Koulibaly and Upamecano could be on the move in the transfer window, it currently seems as though no new signings will grace the Manchester United defence this summer, leaving them with Shaw and Williams competing for a starting place at left-back, Lindelof and Maguire at centre-back with Bailly and youngster Axel Tuanzebe as backup, and Wan-Bissaka as the right-sided fullback, with depth provided by Dalot. United’s backline has much to offer in the future, and a new signing could restore it to the top quality it once possessed.

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