It's always a daunting moment for fans when the oldies are on the verge of deteriorating, and the youngsters aren't quite pulling their weight. With a number of United icons reaching the ends of their careers, it is time for Sir Alex Ferguson to invest in some new talent. The likes of Darron Gibson, Jonny Evans, Gabriel Obertan, and Danny Welbeck (who is rumoured to be returning from his loan spell at Sunderland) are all decent players, but they aren't title winners... and in most cases, they never will be unless they are sitting on the fringes.
The following five players will help cement the Manchester United squad for next season and add depth to their next title challenge.
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It is now old news to know that David De Gea will indeed join the Red Devils next year, but I still wanted to add him to my list. Nothing is complete until De Gea is wearing the red shirt and making his debut for the club.
This young keeper is one of the best prospects in world football today, and is the best possible replacement for the late great Van der Sar. He has proven that he can cut it playing for a second-rate Spanish side, with 11 cleansheets in 38 games. Put him in a United shirt and he will work wonders for many years to come.
With the deal almost done and dusted, I'd be extremely surprised if De Gea isn't gracing the Premiership, and Old Trafford next season.
When I think of Wesley Sneijder, the first word that comes to mind is: "wizard". Sneijder is an extremely gifted footballer who can pick out pass after pass and create something from nothing. He will add that extra bit of flair to the United team that Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher cannot. Add to this his immense work rate, and Sneijder really is a must-buy for United this year. He is twice the player of Carrick and would waltz into the starting line-up.
Additionally, this year, Sneijder has created more goals than any other player in the Serie A, and has also managed to net 7 himself. This stat alone proves what a worthy purchase he would be for the Red Devils.
With my beloved West Ham relegated this season (god bless), it is with great sorrow that we will see our talisman leave Upton Park. We can not expect to have Scotty, an England international, playing second-tier football.
Parker has been the subject of much speculation, mainly linking him to Tottenham and Arsenal, but if I'm being honest, I can't see him playing for either of these teams. In my opinion, Parker is destined for Old Trafford. Please tell me: when was the last time either Spurs or Arsenal had a player as ruthless as Parker on their side? Now take a look at Manchester United... the first two names to roll off my tongue are Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, the latter of which is still playing his trade.
Parker is the perfect replacement for Paul Scholes. He is mature, experienced, and is as talented a midfielder as you will ever find. He can play the holding role, and on the contrary he can attack with venom. Fergie has to open his eyes and bring Super Scott to Old Trafford or he is missing out on a true bargain.
This 6' 5" striker has proven this season that he can contend with the best. Over the last year, he has netted 18 times in 38 games for Bilbao, and has also earned a more regular spot in the Spain international line-up. He is, without a doubt, the perfect strike partner for Wayne Rooney, and one positive is that his work rate far surpasses that of Dimitar Berbatov.
Now, you may question why United needs a new striker. They have Rooney, who is a cut above the rest, they have Berbatov, who is the league's joint top scorer, and they have Hernandez, who has bags of potential.
I'll tell you why. First and foremost, Berbatov is not good enough for United. His biggest downfall is his work-rate, and he has to be replaced. Second of all, United lack height in the attacking department. Rooney and Hernandez are both short asses and Llorente would bring a whole new dimension to their style. The simple solution is: Berbatov out, Llorente in.
Gary Cahill is a lad who is full of potential, and with injury-stricken Rio Ferdinand constantly on the sidelines, it is time for United to invest in an extra center-half. Vidic is also plagued frequently by injuries, and playing Jonny Evans as cover is a method of madness in a league as brutal as the Premiership.
The argument lies with Chris Smalling. Is Smalling really good enough to surpass Rio? In my opinion, he is. But one defender isn't enough; Vidic has a few more seasons in him, but after that, he will be in Rio's scenario. Why not plan ahead and bring in Cahill so that when both Vidic and Rio are on the injury list, you can play a formidable twosome at the back in Cahill and Smalling, rather than opting for the sub-par Evans?