The World Cup has left us salivating about the international game and the Premier League has, consequently, been very much on the back burner. A period normally littered with transfer rumours and been replaced by a feast of football in Russia.
But one of the great bi-products of the World Cup summer is that it leaves so little time between the final and the new season.
So the football addicts among us don’t have to feel too sharp a yearning for the beautiful game because the greatest show on earth finishes just three weeks before the Premier League kicks off again.
With champions Manchester City facing a tough trip to Arsenal on the opening day, Manchester United have a nice start at home against Leicester and a chance to put some immediate daylight between them and their bewitching neighbours.
So how will Manchester United line up for the opener?
We’d all love to see Gary Bale back in the Premier League but it seems unlikely, especially given the fact that Real Madrid will have a new manager. Why would he take the gamble of losing such an A-lister at the start of his Real tenure?
A much more likely addition would appear to be Willian, who only played 20 league games for Chelsea last term and has been quoted in the past as showing great admiration for Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho.
Willian is quoted as saying:
‘He likes me a lot and I like him a lot as a coach and as a person,’
‘He has put his trust in me and in my work, and I was very grateful to him.’
‘Manchester came to me, they talked with my agent, but nothing happened, because Chelsea would not negotiate me in any way and I’m very happy at Chelsea.’
This was before he was regularly overlooked by Antonio Conte this season. But his has form remained excellent and he’s be a superb addition to the Manchester United side, despite his age of 29.
The addition of two of Arsenal and Chelsea’s best players in the space of 9 months would give Manchester United a truly frightening look. While we are yet to be convinced by Romelu Lukaku at the very top level, United would also have the likes of Marcus Rashford and (United fans will hope) Anthony Martial in reserve.
With the addition of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Willian, Manchester United would surely be closer to City come the end of next season.
So here’s how Manchester United could line up if they stick with what they have in central defence but make one more huge signing up top.
United fans: is this a title winning side?