Louis van Gaal implied last week that his priority signing in the summer could be a midfielder to add creativity and drive his team on.
But there remain big problems with the defence and, after the performance of the current centre backs this season, it’s difficult to imagine that Manchester United will start next season without at least one new central defender.
One who has regularly been linked to Manchester United is German international Benedikt Howedes. The 26 year old Schalke defender, who has 31 caps for his country (2 goals), can also play at full-back. But he is built perfectly for the physical needs of the centre of defence and he has recently stated that he would like to play in England one day:
“If I am to leave Schalke one day, I do not want to move clubs within the Bundesliga.
“Schalke is too close to my heart to do so. But a move abroad at a certain time would be worth an experience.
“England would be my goal.”
Manchester United have, of course, been heavily linked with Howedes’ international partner Mats Hummels. And it’s not difficult to envisage Van Gaal trying to recreate that partnership for Manchester United. Hummels has a wonderful range of passing, so badly missed since the departure of Rio Ferdinand, while Howedes is a strong, commanding and physical player who would surely have no problems adapting to The Premier League.
Both in their mid-twenties, the prospect of a Hummels-Howedes is an exciting one and could immediately make Manchester United a more serious challenger in the league next season.