As the dust settles on the best ever Premier League season since Sergio Aguero's stoppage time goal left Manchester United fans in pain, the club's fans are left wondering when their team will compete for the title again.
The pulsating start to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign at the Theater of Dreams and the subsequent nosedive in the performances of his players are well-documented. It was a case of two extremes, as swashbuckling entertaining front-foot football gave way to performances which would barely rate 3 on 10.
It has also been widely acknowledged that the issues troubling United will take plenty of time to solve. But the summer transfer window provides the manager an opportunity to get the players he wants.
The narrative seems familiar, doesn't it?
Ever since the great Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, United have splashed the cash in the transfer window but have rarely got it right. Will Solskjaer and Mike Phelan, who understand the club better than any of the predecessors post the Sir Alex era, get this window right? Will Ed Woodward back Solskjaer in getting the players he wants? Will there be quality additions to the defense which gave way far too easily this season?
In any case, the business has to be done nice and early as the players need to be provided enough time to settle in. Come the start of the next season, the scrutiny and the pressure will reach even greater heights.
The United midfield appears wafer-thin right now thanks partly to the departure of Ander Herrera. Quality additions in midfield are a must if the club are to swiftly get back into the Top 4 next season.
Here are three players that United could consider signing to strengthen the engine room:
1) Ruben Neves
Ruben Neves was well known across Europe when he became the Champions League's youngest ever captain while playing for Porto back in 2015. His decision to swap the Portuguese league for the humble surroundings of England's second tier to join Wolves took many by surprise.
However, his first season at Molineux saw him play a crucial role as the club won back promotion to the Premier League.
Neves is efficient with the ball at his feet and does a good job of shielding the defence. He also has a gem of a right foot while taking aim from outside the box, and has a mean free-kick about him too.
After impressing for Wolves alongside compatriot Joao Moutinho, the time could be right for Man United to sign Neves. He could very well turn out to be the Michael Carrick replacement that the club have been looking for.