When David Moyes took over at Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson he would have known a rebuild was on the cards. Needing a complete overhaul one term into his tenure may not have quite as expected though.
The disastrous season the Red Devils have endured under the former Everton boss has accentuated the need for new recruits, with a lack of pace and invention two of the more worrying aspects of the Old Trafford club’s campaign.
Out of the Champions League and the race for the top four, United have only a top-six finish as a realistic target this term. It’s a goal they can take a step closer to achieving with a win over Everton at 15/8 next time out.
But with Champions League football off the menu for at least next season, the rebuilding mission Moyes must embark on won’t necessarily involve the world’s biggest and best players.
That means a level of shrewdness must be employed in order to land the type of player that can improve United’s squad who would still be willing to play for a club without elite European football to offer.
That’s where Southampton and their string of impressive performers come in. Their ever-growing group of young stars are regularly linked to moves away from St Mary’s and Man United is seen as one club who can prize the likes of Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw away.
Patrice Evra is likely to be in his final season with the Red Devils and with Alex Buttner hardly an inspiring choice to replace him, 18-year-old talent Shaw is thought to be high on Moyes’ list of summer recruits.
With slow-passing and a lack of creation often cited as a criticism of Moyes’ new side this term, Lallana is another player the Scot will surely eye as a realistic proposition once the transfer window opens.
A double-swoop wouldn’t be cheap though, with the pair rated at around £35m by the south coast club.
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