We don’t subscribe to the idea that Manchester United need to sign Mats Hummels this summer. Having played for so many years in Germany, he may struggle to adapt to the pace and physicality of the English league.
Furthermore, it would appear remiss of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to break up the formative partnership of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who are beginning to show that they can be a successful duo for United.
If LvG does keep them together than he may be doing England a massive favour as well as Manchester United.
Because reports persist that Manchester United could conclude a deal for the brilliant Southampton full back Nathaniel Clyne when the window opens this summer. If that deal comes off there is a very good chance that Manchester United will then possess the entire England back four.
John Stones is an exceptional young defender but how tempting would it be for the England manager to be able to select a back four – of Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nathaniel Clyne – who play together for Manchester United every week?
The biggest problem with England over the last 20 years is that they seldom play as team. Even the minnows seem to regularly do it better. One reason for this has to be a lack of familiarity with each other – it’s a team game after all.
England have always defended pretty well but to have the back four – all young and with years in the tank – playing together at Manchester United would provide a foundation for genuine hope of success for the England team over the next 8 years.