Manchester United had a quiet transfer window going into deadline day. Sir Alex Ferguson seems content with his squad, and he should be after clinching their 19th Premier League title last year and being a finalist in the Champions League. United did not need a lot of help through the transfer window.
However, they did get younger and deeper through the transfer window. Their main needs were for depth on the back line and a midfielder who can control the game. They also needed to replace Edwin van der Sar at goalkeeper, as van der Sar's retirement left a hole at that position.
United are deep on forwards with Chicharito and Wayne Rooney, as well as Dimitar Berbatov on the bench. The midfield struggled at times last season and with the retirement of Paul Scholes, they lost some depth.
Sir Alex Ferguson needed to address these issues, so here are the grades for Manchester United's activity in the transfer window.
As I said in the previous slide, United do not need much help up front. With Wayne Rooney back to top form and the emergence of Chicharito last season, United have one of the most talented forward pairs in the world.
Dimitar Berbatov, though inconsistent, provides a suitable backup for these two when called upon. Berbatov did score 22 goals last season, after all. In addition, the emergence of the England under-21 international Danny Welbeck makes United even deeper and younger.
United did not need to upgrade at the forward position; Sir Alex Ferguson did well to not waste money to make an already deep position even deeper.
Manchester United's weakest position is midfield, even though they have a lot of suitable players at the position. Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson, Anderson, Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs are all capable of filling in at midfield. Nani can be a top player, but his inconsistency makes him hard to count on every week.
Overall, none of these players are game-changers.
Ferguson brought in Ashley Young from Aston Villa this transfer window. Young provides youth to the midfield position as well as a steady force for Rooney and Chicharito to work off of. This was the crown jewel of Ferguson's transfer window acquisitions.
He also brought back Tom Cleverley from loan. Cleverley has looked good in his first couple of games at United, so bringing him back may have been good.
Having said all of these positive statements, United failed to bring in Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan. United showed interest and were unable to come to an agreement for him. While I think this may have been a blessing in disguise, showing interest and then not signing Sneijder despite all of the rumors brings down Ferguson's grade.
United needed to get deeper on the back line. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are susceptible to injury, and after both were injured in the first week, this became a weakness.
Not only did United get deeper on the back line, they also got younger. Phil Jones was brought in to make the back line stronger, younger and deeper. Along with Chris Smalling, these two players look to be fixtures on the United defense for years to come.
While United do not look much better on the defensive end this year than they did last year, they improved their depth in an area where they were very thin last year. Credit Ferguson for getting younger with Jones. This is a big move for the present and future.
After the retirement of Edwin van der Sar, United needed a goalkeeper. David De Gea was the man called upon to be in the unenviable position of replacing a legend at Old Trafford.
After coming over from Atletico Madrid, the 20-year-old has looked shaky in his first few games at United. He let in goals that should have been saved, most notably the goal against West Brom and in the Community Shield against Manchester City. None of these goals have hurt United as they won both of those games.
De Gea is a quality goalkeeper who is just having a rough start at United. While he may not be consistent enough yet to make United fans feel comfortable, De Gea has the skill to be the goalkeeper for a long time.
This signing does not look good at the beginning, but give it time and I think the grade will rise.
This transfer window has been very successful for Manchester United. Not only did they get younger, but they strengthened their starting XI. They are still the favorites going into this season's Premier League action.
United look to be a fixture at the top of the table for years to come with the transfer window signings of Sir Alex Ferguson this summer.
Overall Grade: A-
Thanks for the read and feel free to comment on your thoughts of the transfer window.
Follow me on the twitter- http://twitter.com/#!/robertdemmett