After an incredible World Cup in Russia, it is time for us to switch our attention back to club football and more specifically, the Premier League. Manchester United’s campaign kicks off on Friday with a home clash vs Leicester, and here are my thoughts ahead of the 2018/19 season.
In terms of signings, United made a quick start to the transfer window by snapping up promising Portugal right back Diogo Dalot from Porto and Samba star Fred from Shakthar Donetsk, before the start of the World Cup in June. Little did we know that these two would be the only new additions ahead of Jose’s third season. The lack of signings is a worry for both the manager and the fans, as there was a desperate need to strengthen positions including centre back and left wing. I feel this leaves the squad in a delicate position, especially when compared to rivals Liverpool and City, who have great squad depth. Mourinho must now look to make up for the lack of signings by utilising his existing squad, which is not going to be easy. I must say, I’m completely disappointed with Ed Woodward’s(the club’s CEO) attempts in this crucial window.
Despite only signing two players, United’s squad remains filled with talented individuals. Thus, it is still possible for the club to achieve results this season. Winning the PL might be a huge ask, but winning one of the domestic cups, progressing deep in the Champions League and finishing in the top three of the PL should not be impossible. As a fan desperately craving success, I hope Mourinho can now focus on bringing the best out of players such as Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, as they are more than capable of playing world class attacking football. As for our players, I hope they can step up and show their quality on the pitch.
Friday’s game vs Leicester represents a great chance for players like Marcus Rashford and Andreas Pereira to impress the boss. January signing Alexis will also look to hit the ground running in the red shirt. Due to the lack of match fitness, stars Pogba, Lingard and Lukaku will not be available for the season opener. Of course, getting the three points would be the perfect start to a long season, and I hope we can do so in style.
We might not be the favourites, but here’s to hoping we can achieve something special this season.