As I begin to finally settle into my position here at the The Football Forecast, I just wanted to thank everyone for how incredibly welcome the team have made me feel and how well received my first piece went.
Now anyway, let’s talk football. I’m (of course) a huge football fan and I feel I can certainly speak for everyone when I say that December is the month where every football fan begins to get a small feel of the nostalgia that comes with the January transfer window.
In this new series I’ll dissect every premier league team and where I feel they need to chop and change their squad in preparation to bolster for the 2016/17 season. I begin with my team, Manchester United. A string of 0-0 draws, being completely plagued with injuries, a lack of goals and to top it all off a diabolical Champions League exit has been the story of Manchester United’s season and I feel they NEED to completely overhaul their squad with fresh, new and experienced talent…
- Thomas Muller – This man is a must buy and has been in the back of all fans’ minds for many previous windows. Incredibly versatile and prolific for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Thomas Muller is a proven attacker at the top level of the footballing world. 20 goals in just 24 appearances this season, five of them being the Champions League, has seen the Red Devils re-ignite their interest in the German forward. He may not be a natural striker, but has the consistency Manchester United need scoring 20+ goals in his last four campaigns and at 26 years old, he already has 13 major honours to boast about including a world cup medal and four Bundesliga titles, but with a contract that runs until 2019, can LVG lure him away from the Allianz Arena and give Muller the opportunity to reunite with the man that gave him his Bayern Munich debut?
- Aymeric Laporte – Despite only being 21 years old, Laporte has already played 119 games for Athletic Bilbao. He’s strong, able to get around the pitch comfortably and a perfect height (6ft 2) for a Centre back, he is also able to play as a left back which on occasion could also answer United’s full-back problems too. Despite his lack of experience, Laporte has certainly made a name for himself in Spain and is one that can grow and become a solid addition to the currently woeful Manchester United defence.
- David De Gea – Now, you must be thinking: Jack, De Gea already plays for Manchester United? He signed a four year deal in the summer after his transfer fell through to Real Madrid? That may be true, but that means nothing. I don’t even need to comment on the impact that the Spanish shot-stopper has made at Manchester United. Bought by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011 as a “risk”, well it has certainly paid off. If United want any chance of even qualifying for Europe next season they have to keep Big Dave on the books for next season. His four-year contract means nothing, look what happened to Suarez: signed a four-year deal with Liverpool yet the season after jetted off to Barcelona for £75 million, it just increases his value. Nonetheless, with 11 clean sheets last season and already 6 this season, De Gea has single handedly saved (quite literally) Manchester United and was perhaps their biggest aid in last seasons Champions League qualification.
- Mats Hummels – been on the club’s spectrum for years now and would be the perfect leader to cure Manchester United’s defensive fatalities. The 2014 world cup winner has seen extensive criticism thrown his way after a huge underperformance on his part compared to previous campaigns and recently has to play down rumours saying “This is a story that is really close to my heart! I have never used that phrase in my life! And to be honest I have a problem with the fact that something like that is simply invented.” Could the time finally become right for Hummels to move on from Germany and turn speculation into reality?
- Gareth Bale – Perhaps the most unrealistic and ambitious one yet, but this calibre of player is what United solely crave; world class. Gareth Bale when on form is simply a joy to watch and has everything in abundance. He’s Quick, Skilful, Strong and most importantly his delightful eye for goal caught the attention of Real Madrid back in 2013 after an incredible couple of seasons at Spurs. Since being gifted the brand of “World’s most expensive player ever,” Bale has coped very well despite struggling to win over the Madrid faithful on occasion, scoring 43 goals so far in the Spanish capital whilst also registering 26 assists in 104 games. The Welshman has also been his national sides talisman the past couple of International qualifying campaigns which saw Wales qualify for Euro 2016; their first major tournament since 1976. To capture Bale, it would no doubt take a substantial transfer sum, but with the pressure in Spain perhaps hotting up and Bale struggling for consistency, could he be tempted into a move back to England?