Manchester United officials may have to reconsider their Jadon Sancho pursuit in the summer. It comes after Harry Maguire’s injury badly exposed the defence at the club.
Maguire’s injury could have a detrimental impact on United’s transfer pursuit of Sancho.
The England captain looks set to miss the rest of the season after ligament damage to his ankle that he suffered against Aston Villa on Sunday.
There is a slim chance of reaching the Europa League final later this month with his Euro 2020 plans also in doubt.
And the Red Devils captain’s absence was hugely noticeable when they lost to Liverpool on Thursday evening at Old Trafford.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof started at the back for United but looked a bag of nerves between them.
As Liverpool ramped up their attacking efforts, the duo failed to deal with the pressure while one of Maguire’s underrated attributes is his leadership.
The ex-Leicester star can coordinate and marshal like no one else in that United backline.
For all three goals conceded, there was no leadership, no organisation and no order – just mayhem.
It will surely give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and football director John Murtough something to think about in the transfer window.
The plan was to bring Sancho in before Euro 2020 got underway, which could cost the club as little as £80m.
But those plans may have to be shelved as a top-class defender should be prioritised to partner Maguire at the back.
A centre-back is on the wish list at United but they should be considering bumping up the importance of a new signing after the performance to Liverpool.
Villarreal star Pau Torres is being eyed while Jules Kounde of Sevilla is believed to be the top target.
Torres could cost £43m while Kounde has a release clause of £68m, which would set United back in their pursuit of Sancho with funds hard to come by around the world.
But United cannot afford to go into the new season without a brilliant defender or risk falling behind to Manchester City yet again.