Manchester United lost the Premier League crown in dramatic fashion last season, as Manchester City won the title with the last kick of the season.
That late Sergio Aguero strike meant that the Citizens claimed their first top flight title in more than thirty years.
Losing the title in such dramatic circumstances must have be painful for United and their followers, especially with bitter-rivals City being the ones to win it. In truth United had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
At one point during the closing weeks of the season United had an eight point lead over their city rivals. However, in very un-United like style they blew the title in the last few weeks. A 4-4 draw at home to Everton has been pin-pointed by many as the moment that cost United the title.
United were 4-2 up and cruising, until two late goals gave the Toffee’s an unexpected point and helped City towards the title. The way in which United lost last seasons title must be sparing them on for this season though.
It was clear to see last season that United needed new blood. The fact that they pushed City so close for the title hides the real truth. Sir Alex Ferguson knows that this is not his best United team and lots of his players not up to the usual high United standard.
The proof being Paul Scholes having to come out of retirement to help out in the United midfield engine room. Scholes still has a bit to offer but the move to bring him out of retirement showed just how short of midfield options Sir Alex was last season.
The veteran Scot obviously identified this weakness and has moved to solve it by bringing in Japanese midfield playmaker Shinji Kagawa and highly-rated youngster Nick Powell from Crewe. At 18 years old Powell may be one for the future but Kagawa is very much a player for the present.
The Japanese international has been the creative force behind Dortmund becoming the dominant force in German football. The 23 year-old has been a vital cog in the Dortmund midfield and no doubt the German champions will miss him.
Kagawa is the sort of player that United have been missing for a long time. He has creativity, vision and can score goals from his midfield position.
Powell is a highly-rated England under-18 international, who was also being tracked by the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton. However, United managed to win the race for the youngster and he could be a big player for the future.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has stated that he wants to add two more players to his United squad. The Red Devils are being heavily linked with a move for Everton full-back Leighton Baines. The England international is rated in the £15million bracket.
Everton boss David Moyes is in-need of funds to strengthen his squad for next season but would be loathed to see one of his brightest players leave the club. Baines has been one of the most consistent full-backs in the country in the past few seasons.
United left-back Patrice Evra enjoyed an inconsistent campaign last season and it seems that Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for a long-term replacement for the Frenchman. The 27 year-old may be interested in a move, as it wouldn’t mean moving too far away from his native Merseyside.
United are also believed to be interested in adding to their midfield options further. The Red Devils have been linked with Sao Paulo wonderkid Lucas Moura. However, it seems his present club is not interested in parting with their star player, despite reports of a £26million bid.
Another player who is being linked with a move to Manchester United is Porto star Joao Moutinho. However, Porto are not willing to sell the Portuguese international for less than his £30million release clause.
Without anymore additions to their squad Manchester United could struggle to challenge their city-rivals Manchester City next season. Sir Alex Ferguson has been working his managerial magic for along time at Old Trafford.
However, I don’t think that the wily old fox will be able to do the ultimate magic trick of making the Premier League trophy disappear from the Etihad Stadium trophy cabinet next season.
Can Manchester United win the Premier League title next season?