We have long said that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs another centre-back signing despite spending big on bringing in Harry Maguire from Leicester City last summer.
Victor Lindelof doesn’t quite cut the mustard, Eric Bailly can’t stay fit, and Axel Tuanzebe has had his struggles with injuries too.
Maguire has had a good first season at Old Trafford but he can do better. That’s one of the reasons we haven’t made the improvement many would have wanted to see this season.
Someone like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly. Someone commanding and strong, quick and brilliant with the ball at his feet.
The pundit did add, however, that Maguire could really benefit from a better partner at centre-back, as he urged United to sign a Virgil van Dijk-esque player to go alongside him.
“Earlier in the week against Chelsea, Maguire was the villain after getting away with an unacceptable challenge on striker Michy Batshuayi. Against Watford he wasn’t exactly the hero, but he played a pivotal role in securing a clean sheet for the Reds,” Crooks said.
“Two matches, two wins, two clean sheets and six points suggest United are building from the back. I still think they need another top-class defender to play alongside Maguire if they intend to be taken seriously as a top-four team.
“With an in-form Martial — and Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford waiting to return — United have the firepower. What they need is a Virgil van Dijk-type figure alongside Maguire in defence.”
Van Dijk, we must admit, has been a terrific signing for Liverpool, but we could perhaps be justified in feeling Maguire looks the type of defender that will have a similar impact considering he cost even more than the Dutchman did.
He has come in and took the captaincy in his first season. You can tell from watching games that he’s a ready-made leader which bodes well for the coming years as long as the squad gets the right level of investment.