While Manchester United finally made their first move in the transfer market this season with the signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax Amsterdam, the Red Devils must move quickly to secure other players before their Premier League campaign kicks off in two weeks time against Crystal Palace.
Van de Beek will provide some much-needed cover for Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the Manchester United midfield. His arrival for £39.6 million signals a continuation of the club's improved transfer policy under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who is keen on recruiting young players with potential and ambition to play for Manchester United.
However, there are other areas of the pitch that need to be strengthened too. On the right-wing, 18-year-old Mason Greenwood remains the best option, having recently been handed the prestigious number 11 shirt in recognition of his performances last season. But Manchester United need depth, and Jadon Sancho remains a priority for the club.
The nature of the deal, and the fact that Ed Woodward will likely have to break his transfer record to sign the Dortmund forward means that negotiations are likely to stretch until the end of the transfer window.
In the meantime though, there are other issues on the pitch that Manchester United need to address.
Manchester United have depth and injury issues at left-back
Luke Shaw suffered a couple of injuries again last season, but he also showed massive improvement.
The 25-year-old has been defensively solid, making some very intelligent last-man tackles and blocks and linking up well with Marcos Rashford down the left-flank.
Brandon Williams burst on to the scene while Shaw was injured. While the Manchester United academy graduate has shown a lot of promise at left-back, he hasn't had the same impact as Shaw has had, partly because the former is right-footed.
Williams has appeared more comfortable on the few occasions he's played as right-back. So it makes sense for Solskjær to transition Williams to a backup option for Aaron Wan-Bissaka while pursuing a left-back in the market.
Real Madrid's Sergio Reguilon must be an obvious option in this regard. The 23-year-old spent last season on loan at Sevilla, helping Julen Lopetegui's side win a record-sixth Europa League title after beating Manchester United in the semifinals.
Reguilon has quickly become one of the most promising left-backs in Europe, and his rather unique situation means that he presents a very realistic option for Woodward and Co. to target.
Real Madrid already have two top-class players to call upon in Reguilon's position. Ferland Mendy made 25 appearances in La Liga after arriving from Lyon last summer and has become manager Zinedine Zidane's first-choice. Veteran Brazilian Marcelo might be 32 now, but he pitched in with some crucial performances as well.
That means Madrid could be willing to let Reguilon for a relatively bargain fee - quoted at around £20 million by the Express, which would leave enough funds for Manchester United to continue pursuing Sancho.
What would Reguilon bring to Manchester United?
Reguilon possesses typical Spanish technical flair. He notched up two goals and four assists in La Liga last season, which are impressive numbers for a left-back. Shaw, on the other hand, had no goal contributions in the 2019-20 Premier League.
Even defensively, Reguilon averages more tackles and interceptions per 90, although Shaw comes out on top in terms of blocks and clearances. The Spaniard attempts almost a shot per game, which is almost double that of Shaw, as well as more crosses than the Englishman.
While his perennial injury issues have certainly played a role in Shaw not meeting the meteoric expectations he set for himself at Southampton, there's no doubt that Reguilon is the more complete player at the moment.
Given the season he's just had, the Spaniard would clearly not be content with a rotational role at Madrid when he'd be guaranteed more minutes at Manchester United along with Champions League football.
For United, capturing Reguilon would mean having genuine talent and depth at both full-back positions for the first time in the post-Ferguson era and one less headache for Solskjaer to deal with.
Reguilon's proactiveness and drive to push forward would provide the Red Devils with a new dimension in their attack down the left, especially with Wan-Bissaka being a more defensive presence on the right.
All the signs indicate a fruitful partnership between Reguilon and Rashford, which could become one of the most dangerous pairings on the left-flank in the Premier League.
Woodward must move fast though, because other clubs are also interested in Reguilon. AS claimed recently that Manchester United have already tabled their offer for the player, which is good news. Real Madrid would likely demand a buy-back clause for Reguilon, which shouldn't be a problem unless the player falls out of favour at Old Trafford.
With Chelsea having splashed £50 million on a very similar player in Ben Chilwell, signing Reguilon would be very smart business for Manchester United as they look to build on their third-place finish in the Premier League last season.Published 05 Sep 2020, 18:58 IST