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Are these really Moyes’ leftback targets?

Moyes deflated after FA Cup exit to Swansea Jan 2013After an awful start to the season, Man United added more misery to their 2013/14 campaign this week with two mores losses, this time to Spurs and Swansea City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively – BOTH at Old Trafford.

This is the first of my three part series on who David Moyes needs to sign if his Manchester United side want to even stand a chance in reaching the top four this season.

Yet again, we saw Aaron Lennon destroying Patrice Evra on New Years Day, which reinforced everyone’s opinion that a new left back is desperately needed. Furthermore, he was at fault for both goals, and this was not the first time his mistakes have cost us games in the Premier League, and more importantly; valuable points.

Fabio CoentraoMan United made approaches to Fabio Coentrao and Leighton Baines in the Summer, which were both turned down respectively. Now at 32, Evra is not the player he once was, and his fitness and stamina is becoming an issue. If United attack, he will always provide an overlap option for the left winger, however when we lose the ball, he’s the last one back to stop the counter attack, due to a lack of pace and energy. An example of this was against Spurs, where both their goals were on the break, with crosses coming from the hole Evra had left. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have the freedom to help the attack and provide crosses for the forwards, but if he does not have the legs on him to get back, then he should not go forward in the first place. As a defender, your job is to defend, and attacking is just a bonus.

According to reports, Real Madrid are willing to listen to offers for Fabio Coentrao, with 12.5m the asking price. In my opinion, that’s a bargain. He’s only 25, so there is still time for improvement, and he will be around for at least another five-six years at his best. He’s been second best to Marcelo at Real Madrid for years now, so if he wants first team football, a move to Man United should be on his mind. Coentrao would be my first choice replacement, without a doubt.

Another player linked is Leighton Baines. In my mind, paying over 16m for a player who is approaching their thirties is not the best deal. I can see about three seasons left in Baines, at the most, which means you will pay over five million a season for an ageing left back. Good deal? No, very poor. You can’t doubt Baines and his talent, but his age is my only worry. His set pieces are sensational, and his fitness and energy to get up and down the left wing is extraordinary. He is probably a better cross than all of Man United’s wingers, so he would really help the side going forward.

Luke ShawLuke Shaw, 18, is also another possible target for Moyes, who I believe is the best young left back around. He is a great attacker, as well as a great defender, and is showing real potential. Shaw has cemented his place in the Southampton starting eleven and since the start of last season, he has been one of the top performers at the club. Shaw has represented England U16’s, U17’s and U21’s as well, picking up some brilliant international experience. Chelsea have also been linked with the player, and Southampton have a 25m price tag on the young full back. Although this may seem a crazy amount for such a young defender, he will soon become the best left back in the league and England’s No.3. With approximately 15 more seasons ahead of him, he still has time to improve, and he will be around for a very long time, at the highest level.

I have no doubt that a new left back is definitely needed, so I feel Coentrao and Shaw should be the players David Moyes goes for in this January transfer window. Either of the players could make a huge impact on the side, and both are well known for their assists. They both can cross the ball, unlike Valencia and Young, who struggle to get it further than near post. Man United fans should just hope that Moyes can get the players, or else they could be in real trouble this season, and many seasons to come.

Look out for Part 2 in this series of articles. Next up, I will be discussing the central midfielders who should be ticking over in David Moyes’ mind.

Written by Ross- @RossFootball_.