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With only six days left in the summer transfer window there is an acceptance Manchester United might be done in terms of new additions.
The club, like any, will keep an eye across developments elsewhere and consider any proposal which might come their way, but ending the summer with just the players they have already recruited would by no means be viewed as a disappointment.
Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane add clear improvement in two neglected areas of the pitch while experienced ‘keeper Tom Heaton provides a viable back-up option should David de Gea or Dean Henderson ever leave.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has himself admitted the key components are already at Old Trafford to potentially pull off a title triumph next spring, though many supporters feel another significant signing is needed to further favour their chances.
As things stand United view a new addition as ‘unlikely’ before Tuesday’s deadline, it means their priorities are already pretty clear for the year ahead.
The club still need a specialist defensive midfielder if they are to make a permanent switch to a 4-3-3 set-up while a new striker will likely be the priority next summer with Edinson Cavani expected to leave.
United might well need to blow their budget on signing world-class options in both of those positions meaning that they’ll need to get creative in regards to strengthening any other areas of the pitch.
One such role is that of right-back with United still keen to add an attacking alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka across the next couple of transfer windows.
Sources have said a deal for Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier is not ‘off the table’ but the likelihood of a breakthrough is remote, United are expected to end the window with Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot as their two senior options.
It means Dalot could get one final chance to convince Solskjaer of his talents after a rejuvenated spell with AC Milan, though youngster Ethan Laird might be the player who really takes his chance this season.
Laird, 20, has joined Swansea on loan where he is reunited with former MK Dons boss Russell Martin, it was under him he shone so brightly in League One last season.
The United youngster was faced with an unenviable task in South Wales as injury cover for fan favourite Connor Roberts – a product of the club’s academy who was on the score sheet for Wales in the European Championship this summer – but it is credit to him that he has started so well.
Laird has played three matches so far for the Swans, one of which was at wing-back, making an enormous impact in his brief cameo against Plymouth on Tuesday night.
With the scores level after 78 minutes in the Carabao Cup encounter Laird was summoned from the bench. In the twelve minutes he was on the pitch Swansea netted three times, Laird grabbing one assist from the three chances which he created.
Ethan Laird (L) celebrates Swansea’s derby win over Bristol The United hopeful clearly has a lot of work to do if he is to get to Premier League standard by next summer, but his attacking creativity is clear evidence of his potential as an understudy to Wan-Bissaka.
Staying injury free will be the next key target for him as he looks for a prolonged spell in the Championship and his biggest challenge will come when Wales international Roberts returns to fitness to battle him for a starting role.
There is a long way to go yet, but if he manages to overcome those two hurdles then there is clear reason why he deserves to considered by Solskjaer in a year’s time.
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