Manchester United will welcome one World Cup winner back to the side against Wolves this weekend, and many supporters are hoping he’ll soon be joined by another.
Following his international triumph with Argentina, Lisandro Martinez returned to United training on Wednesday and is in contention to play at Molineux this Saturday lunchtime.
Martinez has already displayed his commitment to the cause by skipping Nicolas Tagliafico’s wedding to fly home earlier this week in order to get himself back into shape for his club duties.
It is this sort of elite mentality that has quickly won over United fans and helped to transform the Old Trafford dressing room under Erik ten Hag.
The United manager not only wanted to add high-quality players to his side in the summer, but he also wanted to add players with the right personality traits. He chose players he knew from Dutch football and bolstered his squad with Premier League experience from Christian Eriksen and serial winner Casemiro.
It has proven to be a successful formula so far, and naturally, that brings into focus who United might target next as part of their ongoing rebuild.
One player popular amongst supporters right now is Enzo Fernandez, the versatile Argentina midfielder who shone brightly playing in a deep role at the World Cup.
Following his success in Qatar, the 21-year-old is being linked with a whole host of clubs, something that looks like a clear tactic to drum up interest and get him a move while his reputation is so high.
There can be no ignoring the obvious qualities of the Benfica midfielder, but the suggestion that any side would trigger his reported £106 million release clause midway through the season seems ludicrous.
It is particularly farfetched in regard to United, given that they so clearly have priorities elsewhere and have already indicated that spending will be at a premium next month.
Ten Hag has openly admitted that the priority is to sign a recognised central striker in the January window, while adding another long-term forward option could well still be the main task next summer too.
Beyond that, United are still eager to add a new right-back to their squad and will likely be in the market for a new goalkeeper next summer, with Dean Henderson expected to leave permanently and David de Gea’s future still undecided.
There is still interest in adding an elite midfielder to the side in the long-term, something that could well present itself next summer, though Ten Hag’s own personal preference would likely be to move for either Jude Bellingham or Frenkie de Jong.
Fernandez certainly has the ability to breach the world-class bracket in the years ahead, but despite his excellent passing ability, he is not quite in the mould of the expansive midfielder United would be targetting to relieve the workload on Eriksen.
Another factor to consider in all of this is the tricky balancing act of adding another top midfielder to the side now who would command a starting place. There is certainly a need for an upgraded reserve option in the squad, but Fernandez would be hard to justify given that his huge fee would need to be matched with starts every week.
There is an age-old warning not to sign a player after a stellar showing at a major tournament, and this time around it seems like Fernandez might well be another example.
He deserves all the plaudits he’s received after such a huge contribution for his country, but that does not mean he is right for United.