Manchester United could improve their defence by bringing in a pacey centre-back to partner Harry Maguire, says transfer expert Duncan Castles. United splashed out a world-record fee for a defender of £80million on Maguire last summer. The England international was made United captain just six months into his time at the club after Ashley Young left for Inter Milan in January.
Castles believes centre-back is still the main defensive area United need to improve and reckons any new acquisition must be quick to help Maguire.
“They’ve got the goalkeeper, they can hang onto the goalkeeper, very difficult to improve on him at the kind of prices that you’re looking at for goalkeepers,” Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast.
“You could, and I think this is where they will have to go if they want to upgrade the defence, put a higher quality centre-back in beside Maguire and he will need to be quick, will need to be very quick, to compensate for Maguire’s lack of pace and his positional errors.”
Castles says United could also improve their defence by changing managers from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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“You can also improve by setting the team up differently,” he added.
“They’ve conceded a lot of goals from set pieces this season and they’ve conceded a lot of goals by using a hybrid zonal defence in certain areas.
“So there’s certainly a coaching element and a managerial strategic element where you can add quality to the defence without spending any money, but that would require a different manager to be in charge.”
Earlier this week, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealed he is pleased with how the “rebuild” is going and explained the club’s transfer approach for this summer.
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“We are pushing for a strong finish in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup as we enter the final third of the season,” Woodward said.
“We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild, with many changes in terms of players that we have brought in and players that have come through our academy; the foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole.
“This season is one of rebuild, with many changes to the squad – in terms of players who have left or gone out on loan, new players who we have brought into the club and academy graduates that we have brought through to the first team.
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“This process will continue as we implement our plan and our footballing vision under Ole and his coaching staff.
“Despite being linked to 111 players in January, our acquisition of just one of them, Bruno Fernandes, is an important step in that direction, demonstrating our commitment to adding experienced, world-class recruits to the exciting crop of academy graduates that are at the heart of this developing team.
“We will take the same planned, disciplined, approach this coming summer.”
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