Sunday 21st July 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been a busy man in the summer transfer window as he intends to refresh and reshape his Manchester United squad ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, but will it be enough to finish in the top four?
Wales international Daniel James was the first to arrive at Old Trafford, signing from Swansea City for £15m. The 20-year-old will bring much-needed hunger and determination to the frontline for Solskjaer, while his pace coupled with his dribbling ability will torment Premier League defenders.
The next to sign was England defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for £45m – United’s fifth most expensive signing of all time. The 21-year-old arrives with the potential to establish himself as one of the best right-backs in the league, and his defensive contributions coinciding with his desire to succeed will enhance United’s chances of achieving a top-four finish, which many bookmakers have them priced just outside evens at 11/10 by bet365.
The Red Devils are yet to apply the brakes this summer, with England defender Harry Maguire reportedly close to signing from Leicester City in a deal worth £80m, which would make the Premier League’s most expensive defender. Should this deal go through, United would have a much-improved defensive line, and if you think it will be enough to finish in the top four, click here to receive bookmaker offers and find the best bet available. The Manchester club are as long as 40/1 by Betfair to take the title off their neighbours. The current UEFA Champions League winner Liverpool FC sits at 1/10 odds by Ladbrokes for a top 4 finish in this season’s EPL. Last season’s winner Manchester City are at 1/50 odds by bet365 to again finish in top 4.
Solskjaer was appointed as caretaker manager following Jose Mourinho’s departure back in December 2018, a stint in which he recorded 14 wins and two draws in 19 games; his most notable victory a 3-1 Champions League triumph against PSG. Since then, the Norwegian manager was rewarded with a permanent contract, but struggled to replicate his earlier impression, finishing sixth in the Premier League and he’s 4/1 to be the next manager to leave his post.
United have been active spenders this summer and given Chelsea’s transfer coupled with Arsenal’s inferior transfer budget, Solskjaer should undoubtedly be targeting a top-four finish next season. However, the recent saga surrounding France midfielder Paul Pogba has somewhat tarnished the signings so far, with the 26-year-old openly stating his desire to move on to a new challenge. Romelu Lukaku’s future at United looks in doubt after rumours linking the Belgium forward with a switch to Inter Milan, with Marcus Rashford set to lead the line next season.
There is no doubting that United have the quality to achieve a top-four finish. The recruitment has been excellent so far, and if they can bring in another two/three first-team quality signings, Solskjaer’s outfit will have a fantastic chance of qualifying for Champions League football next season.
Image: Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith