In Focus: Defensive changes are badly needed at Man United this summer

As reported by The Mirror, Manchester United are set to make drastic changes to their defensive line at the end of the season with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both potentially being moved on.

What’s the story?

United are again soul searching this week after a damaging defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park, a match in which their defensive frailties again came to the fore.

Fans have been left frustrated with a lacklustre defence this season and it seems Jose Mourinho agrees.

The Mirror report that the Man United boss has told the club to spend big on a defender this summer and that they could make a move for Real Madrid star Raphael Varane, who is rated at £36m by Transfermarkt.

The paper also say that Mourinho is looking to offload defensive pair Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, with any new defender set to directly replace the former.

After spending big on the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, is it time to focus on the Red Devils’ defensive line?

Is improving the defence the key to success?

While it’s true that United have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, in key moments they have been let down by the likes of Chris Smalling, who again made mistakes against Newcastle.

Now 28 years old, Smalling is no longer a youngster learning the game and should have the experience to be a reliable force at the back for a club like United. If he isn’t that by now, will he ever be?

With lack of depth in the full-back areas too, it’s clear the club need to invest with the same ambition they’ve shown in attacking areas. If they can do that with defenders hand picked by Mourinho, it could be what they need to be taken to the next level.