Manchester United have come from behind to win no fewer than nine times in the Premier League this season and although they are known as the comeback kings of the English top flight even Sir Alex Ferguson will be shocked and slightly alarmed at the rate at which they are conceding goals.
United's cause isn't helped by the injury's they have had to ensure already this season. Seeing club captain Nemanja Vidic come back from a lengthy spell on the side lines only to require more surgery on his knee weeks later.
Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand is now 34 and in the twilight of his career and while young defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will almost certainly feature for United in defence for years to come the team is missing a world class defender. Someone who will command the back four and dominate opposition strikers.
So below, is a list of top quality defenders Manchester United could bring in this January to sure up their leaky defence.
The 24-year-old Norwegian has attracted interest from a number of clubs in the Premier League, reportedly including Manchester United. Forren helped his club side to the domestic title last season, with his fine form also earning international recognition. Sir Alex Ferguson could take advantage of his relationship with the players manager, former Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if he is serious about securing Forren's signature. The player himself is well aware of the interest from various top clubs saying:
“If it is true then of course it is interesting, but it is not something I am thinking about.”
“I have been able to cope with the step up in the national team and in Europe and I feel I have played well enough to suggest that I am ready for a better league.”
The Inter Milan centre back has been the clubs best player this season and would be an ideal replacement for Rio Ferdinand. The 24-year-old has all the qualities any manager would look for in a defender. With a willingness to put his body on the line, the skill and vision to make a perfectly timed tackle and a sharp mind to read the game and make vital interceptions. These qualities have been lacking from the United back line and with the player being valued at around £12 million he is someone Ferguson should definitely be keeping an eye on.
FC Nordsjaelland's centre-back Okore is just 20-years-old but is already being considered as a world class defender. He has been his teams best performer in the Champions League this season and has a host of clubs interested in his services. Former goalkeeper and club legened Peter Schmeichel has urged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the defender after his impressive displayes of strength and aerial ability. Okore has a tremendous amount of pace for a centre-back and would be a sure fire hit in the Premier League. It is thought that United could sign the defender for somewhere in the region of £7 million.
United have sent representatives to watch Angelo Ogbonna in his last to fixtures for Torino as Ferguson looks to bring in a long term replacement for Rio Ferdinand. The player has been with Torino his entire career and was included in Italy's squad for the 2012 European Championships although Ogbonna didn't feature for the Azzurri. United will not be alone if they decided to pursue the defender after his impressive performances have attracted interest from a number of clubs in Italy and Europe.
Rafael Toloi has long been on the radar of Manchester United's fans and in all likeliness with the club itself. He was linked with a move to Manchester City in 2011 but nothing materialised and since then he has gone on to impress with his performances for Sao Paulo. As a defender, he has all the raw attributes; tackling, intercepting, clearing, shot-blocking and strength, to be a success in the English top flight, while he also has a great understanding of attacking movements to cope with the pace of even the quickest forwards. Discipline and aerial ability are the two things preventing Toloi from already being world-class but there is no doubt he has the potential to get better and better, especially if he was under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson
Do you think Manchester United need to sign a centre-back in January? If so, who should they try to sign?
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