Following Man United’s turbulent start to the season, evidenced by 14 goals conceded, the team finds itself in a defensive crisis.
Former Arsenal player, Paul Merson has offered his insight into the club’s defensive frailties.
Merson believes that Manchester United must prioritize signing a seasoned center-back akin to the legendary Sergio Ramos during the January transfer window to rejuvenate their campaign.
Manchester United’s recent performance in the Premier League has left fans and pundits alike perplexed, with the team currently languishing in 13th place.
The most glaring issue for the Red Devils has been their porous defense, having conceded a staggering 10 goals in just five league games. This defensive vulnerability places them in the unenviable company of Burnley and Wolves, both of whom share similarly concerning defensive records.
Adding to Manchester United’s woes, injuries have plagued their defensive lineup. Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been sidelined for over a month, while key players like Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have also missed crucial matches. These injuries have exposed the team’s lack of depth and resilience at the back.
“Manchester United are absolutely all over the place,” Merson wrote for Sportskeeda.
“You can’t concede four goals away from home in a big European game and expect to get anything out of it, they need to find ways to keep things tight at the back.” Merson speaking on Man Utd’s 4-3 defeat against Bayern Munich.
“Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof are all good defenders, but they aren’t leading central defenders,” Merson added.
“I don’t mean this badly, but they are No. 2 defenders and need someone more experienced alongside them – as we saw with Varane when he had Sergio Ramos next to him at Real Madrid.”
The former Arsenal star’s comments come at a time when Manchester United has been linked with various center-backs, including Jean-Clair Todibo. Whether the club’s hierarchy chooses to heed Merson’s advice and secure a new central defender in the January transfer window remains to be seen.