The capture of £40m ex-Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has been described by former Manchester United defence ace Denis Irwin as a masterstroke that will unleash the attacking potential of Paul Pogba, according to MailSports.
'Matic is a player United have needed for quite a while. Michael Carrick has done a fantastic job there but he is not getting any younger and we’ve needed midfielders. He's also a signing designed to let Pogba off the leash a little bit so, although every club starts the season optimistic, having seen United in pre-season out in USA and just judging by the general feeling in and around the camp, I think it’s a very positive environment at the moment.'
Irwin also reckons this will be a defining season for Luke Shaw's injury-blighted career at Old Trafford.
'He’s absolutely good enough to be United’s long-term left back. I know Phil Neville who has worked with him and he says he is certainly good enough. He’s got the talent. But he’s had another setback with the injury this year – he’s missed the whole pre-season and I don’t know when he is going to be.'
The 1999 Champions League winner is also optimistic that Romelu Lukaku, a £75m arrival from Everton, will easily hit the 20-goal margin for the club.
'First of all we’ve Wayne (Rooney) going and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic injured, we needed a centre forward. It is fair to say there were not too many out there who were available at the time so I think the manager has done very, very well in getting Lukaku. After seeing his stint at Everton, he is a player who probably guarantees you 20 goals and United need that so I think he will be a fantastic signing.'
Matic is expected to make his debut when United play their last pre-season game against Italian side Sampdoria on Wednesday in Dublin before the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Skopje, Macedonia next Tuesday.