It is safe to say David Moyes has had a difficult start to his tenure at Old Trafford, picking up just seven points from the first six games of the season. They are the first champions to have lost three of the first six games the following season since Blackburn Rovers in 1995/96. Moyes is under pressure, his job isn’t at risk but it will be expected that United start putting in some better performances in the next few weeks. The main problem seems to be that the 50-year-old Scot doesn’t quite know his best eleven yet and how to use them. This has led to The Mirror saying that Moyes will be handed a £50 million war chest as early as January to resurrect their season.
After the defeat to West Brom at the weekend, the Red Devils Manager said that he has doubts over the quality in the side and whether they are able to compete in the latter stages of the Champions League this year. Going on to say that he would need five or six “world class players”. It is clear that the summer transfer window did not go to plan for Moyes and Ed Woodward. It was an embarrassment how many players they were linked with and failed to get, with Marouane Fellaini being their only major incoming transfer. So if they are to strengthen in January, where is the money likely to be spent?
It can be argued that Fellaini was not needed by Manchester United with other players already capable of his role. At Everton he often played behind the striker but has started off in a deeper role for United so far, being largely ineffective. Shinji Kagawa has been given a chance in recent weeks, but it remains to be seen how key of a part he will play this year. The obvious places in need of strengthening for United are attacking midfielders and in central defence. Ander Herrera, Cesc Fabregas, Daniel De Rossi, and Leighton Baines could well remain on the radar. However previous failures may lead to Moyes and Woodward looking elsewhere. In terms of a centre back, Eliaquim Mangala of FC Porto has been linked with a move. He would potentially cost in excess of £25 million, but it could be a worthwhile addition with Rio Ferdinand looking to be on his last legs. Leighton Baines whilst clearly a great talent, could represent an early end to Patrice Evra’s career, which surely wouldn’t go down too well.
Moyes may yet go back to Goodsion Park to poach another midfielder in the form of Ross Barkley. Ross has had a brilliant start to the season, cementing his place in the Everton side and winning his first England cap. He could be tempted with a move to Old Trafford but obviously Everton would demand another high price for their asset. Herrera’s name continues to be linked with Moyes known to be a fan of his, his transfer could cost up to £35 million leaving only £15 million left in the kitty. Would that be enough to strengthen the side. Ilkay Gundogan of Borussia Dortmund has been linked, as his contract runs out in 2015. That could leave Dortmund in a similar situation to Robert Lewandowski, and if they don’t want his contract to run down he could leave in January for a modest fee. He would be a perfect signing for United. Whatever happens in January it looks like Moyes will be splurging some cash in his attempt to bring his side to a “world class” level.