In around five weeks, Manchester United’s Champions League campaign resumes against Atletico Madrid.
Unfortunately, Champions League knockout ties don’t happen too often for United in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
While reaching the last 16 was a minimum expectation under Fergie, those opportunities are much rarer these days.
United have only reached the round of 16 in the competition in 2014, 2018 and 2019 in recent seasons, and have never gone beyond the quarter-finals. Often United failed to even qualify for the competition or pass the group stages.
This is a sad record by United standards, and looking at the Premier League table, with United in seventh position, there is a very real risk that the team will not qualify for the Champions League this season. .
Take advantage of this rare chance
With this rare chance in mind, United must make the most of this upcoming Champions League knockout tie. With a proven winner like Cristiano Ronaldo in the line-up, United have a chance of success in any home and away game.
And it’s also worth noting that in Europa League competition, United haven’t lost a home and away game in the past two seasons.
The Champions League is a higher standard, and with the competition potentially out of reach next season, United need to go ‘all in’ and make this season’s tilt count for the trophy.
The Champions League-winning midfielder wanted: United have several elements of a potentially good squad. David de Gea is an excellent goalkeeper and Raphael Varane is a proven winner in defence. Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are two outstanding forwards, and in the latter’s case, he won’t be around next season. United must therefore make the most of this opportunity.
The key to making this team work is solving the midfield. We’ve seen various combinations of this team over the past two seasons, and we’ve seen enough to know that United’s options aren’t good enough. Not as they are now, a piece is missing.
A high-quality midfielder could prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle to make this team click. United may need a lot more than that, but for now we want to see the club make an effort to improve.
Right now, United fans are frustrated as it looks like the club are making no effort to sign a new midfielder and bring one in this month.
There is a huge opportunity at stake thanks to the Champions League, and United would be wrong to pass up that chance.
The reward is almost unfathomably huge. The ultimate prize is a Champions League medal. Imagine what an Ngolo Kante could bring to this united team in terms of impact and transformation. At the moment, it looks like United aren’t trying to solve the problem.
Going all-in with an eye on knockout matches could also have an additional positive impact, in the Premier League. The reinforcement will benefit United’s chances of securing a place in the top four. Sometimes you have to ‘speculate to hoard’, and while we’re not suggesting United go out and break the bank, there is reasonable business to be had at reasonable prices, and the benefits are worth the small investment.
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