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Manchester United must inject some serious quality into the squad to avoid a repeat of last season’s embarrassment.

It was a day to forget for Louis van Gaal’s men as they slumped to a disappointing defeat on the opening day of their Premier League campaign.

Manchester United must act fast to avoid another season of mediocrityIt was not supposed to start this way. After a successful pre-season in which they won all their matches, optimism was at a premium amongst the United faithful. Van Gaal had stepped in and wielded his magic, or so it seemed.

But the brutal reality hit home on Saturday as they fell to their first home defeat on the opening day of the season since 1972. The former Netherlands manager began the game with his trusted 3-4-1-2 formation that worked so well in pre-season but was forced to switch to a 4-4-1-1 system in the second half after going 1-0 down.

While they created chances and looked threatening on some occasions, it was the lack of direction in midfield and the inexperience of the defenders that ultimately cost the Red Devils. To be fair, United were clearly missing a couple of key players due to injury and were forced to start the match with unproven youngsters like Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett. The two lads put in a good shift but they were not helped by the sluggishness of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

In midfield, Darren Fletcher and Ander Herrera failed to provide solid cover for the defence, while Juan Mata cut an uninspired figure. The 3-5-2 setup was supposed to bring the best out of the former Chelsea man in his preferred central role but even he failed to live up to expectation on the day.

Perhaps if seasoned campaigners like Robin van Persie, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick were present, things might have turned up better for the hosts. In their absence however, the lack of quality in defence and midfield was all too glaring and it is clear that United have to move fast to secure two or three world class signings within the next two weeks to avoid another season of embarrassment.

Chief executive Ed Woodward promised that business would be done early in the transfer window but so far, their activity in the market has been uninspiring. Luke Shaw and Herrera have been brought in and that’s it. These two are promising young players but they are not of the caliber of Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos who joined Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively, and cannot be expected to propel United back to the elite.

United do not need anymore promising prospects or players with raw potential. What they need is a couple of proven players that will bolster the squad and make an immediate impact.

Marcos Rojo has just sealed his move from Sporting Lisbon, while United are also rumoured to be interested in Roma defender Mehdi Benatia and Ajax’s Daley Blind. Arturo Vidal would be the ideal candidate to solve the midfield crisis alongside Angel di Maria, who remains unsettled at Real Madrid.

If three or four of these players can be signed, then Van Gaal will have the personnel to reestablish his side as a powerhouse in English football once more. If not, then another season of mediocrity beckons.

After last season’s embarrassing campaign, domestic redemption is high on the agenda and reinvigorating the squad with serious quality in the transfer market will be pivotal to their cause.

Originally published at voomfootball.wordpress.com

Post written by Ayo Isaiah, Twitter: @Ayo_isaiah9
for Voom Football, Blog: Voom Football, Twitter: @Voomfootball

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