Machester United have started the 2014 season terible and it has mainly been attributed to their defensive frailties. Hence we look at Top 5 Defensive Targets For Manchester United.

Midway through the last season Nemanja Vidic; the club captain and one of the most accomplished defenders from Manchester United backline announced that he is moving on. Patrice Evra made his intentions to move apparently clear at the end of the season, while Rio Ferdinand was deemed as surplus and was shipped out. These events unfolded in an unusual manner and never in recent history have so many first choice defenders left Old Trafford in a single transfer window. One wonders if Sir Alex Fergusson was in charge, would the news about club captain Vidic, quitting out before the end of the season? Definitely not and by the end of the season he and David Gill would have identified the replacement. However all said and done this is what transition does even to the one of the most successful club in the world.

Louis Van Gaal had his transfer target, however his prowess and the club riches failed to bring in top of the draw defenders. No discredit to Marcos Rojo or Luke Shaw, however they have to prove themselves before they are compared to yesteryears defenders such as Vidic, Stam, Ferdinand, Evra etc. With the growing injury list and weak defensive display there is a growing demand for reinforcements. Let’s try and explore five defenders Manchester United should buy come the January transfer window. 

Ezequiel Garay: There was a very strong rumor in the past few seasons about garay joining Manchester United. While he was plying his trade with Benfica, he was consistently linked to Old Trafford and was even seen in Manchester, house hunting on few occasions (as per reports). However he moved to Zenit St Petersburg in June 2014. He is still linked with an immediate transfer to Manchester United, something which is seen often from foreign players playing in the Russian Premier League. Moreover his agent Jorges Mende is someone who has recently moved high profile players to Manchester United (Di Maria, Falcao). The presence of other Argentine players in the ranks will also be a motivation for the player to switch sides.

Mats Hummels: The most likely defensive target for Manchester United in the last summer window was the german world cup winner, Mats Hummels. A towering figure and cool operator, he has been instrumental in the recent success of his national team as well as Borrussia Dortmunds last couple of season’s success. He himself didn’t rule out a move to Old Trafford and a move looked like a possibility in the 2015-16 campaign. However with a weak start to campaign at for Borrussia Dortmund, might test the managements resolve and it is speculated that he can be priced out at a figure close to 50 Million pounds.

Bruno Martins Indi: He was certainly the surprise package at the Dutch National campaign in the World Cup Finals. He got the vote of trust from Van Gaal, who is now Manchester United Boss and has certain liking for the player he groomed in the national team setup. His average duels won this season for Porto is close to 60% and has a high pass accuracy (91%) will definitely suit Van Gaal’s style of play. He can play as a central defender and also can act as a cover for Luke Shaw on the left back position.

Ron Vlaar: Another Dutch player, who impressed Van Gaal during his solid performances at the World Cup was Ron Vlaar. He was marshalling the defense with authority and can lend the solidarity required to the young defensive squad at Manchester United. He has an average of over 60% in terms of winning duels (aerial, tackle and take Ons) for his last two seasons at Aston Villa and during his run in with the Dutch national team and hence would be a safe custodian in front of De Gea and Co for the rest of the season.

Raphael Varane: He has recently signed a contract extension which will keep him at Real Madrid till 2020, however limited match time might prompt him to move to join the beleaguered defensive lineup of Manchester United. He has previously rejected the move to United as he thought he would play a fill-in role to Phil Jones and other senior defensive figures at the club. However with the cleanup at Manchester United, a solid centre back is the need of the hour and Varane might be the solution. His limited time played in the past few season show he hasn’t been utilized at a stretch, however his statistics of winning duels (around 60%) and an impressive display of moving the ball intelligently to build up play is evident and will support attacking style of play at Manchester United. 

Source for Stats: Squawaka

Source for Image: Skysports