Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has just been handed another January transfer window headache – Dan Brown

The clash with Patrick Vieira&aposs side was postponed back in September following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. It was, admittedly, always going to be difficult to reschedule it on a date that worked well for both parties, but it certainly feels like United have come out worse in terms of the new date. It gives supporters just nine days to make any arrangements, and for Ten Hag &aposs side, the pressure will still be on to continue their winning run.

United begin their hectic schedule against Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night, before coming up against Manchester City in the derby next Saturday. Following that, it is the rearranged match against Crystal Palace, and then an away trip to Arsenal on January 22. Four matches in 12 days would test any side, but with the Reds operating with a relatively small squad – in comparison to the likes of City – it will be even more testing.

While the club are progressing with talks over a potential loan move for Burnley striker Wout Weghorst, it still feels like the potential arrival of the Dutchman would not be enough in this transfer window. The 30-year-old striker, who is currently on loan at Besiktas, where he has scored eight goals in 16 games, is viewed as an ideal support striker for Anthony Martial. He would certainly add a different dimension to the team.

Although the Turkish side have a 10million option to sign Weghorst – with Burnley also not including a recall clause – it is still hoped that an agreement can be made between the three sides. The striker impressed during the World Cup with the Netherlands, and scored both of his country&aposs goals in the entertaining 2-2 draw with Argentina in the quarter-final clash.

Ten Hag has typically targeted players familiar to him, or ones that were schooled in the Netherlands. There are, of course, exceptions, but the United boss has operated with a clear strategy since beginning his reign as manager in the summer.

Even if Weghorst does not end up being the striker that arrives at Old Trafford, it is almost certain that another player will. The club are looking to recruit a loan signing following an expensive summer, and several stars are being linked with a move to United. A striker is the main target, especially given the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in November, but the Reds should also be open to adding additional reinforcements as well.

United are well-stocked in the full-back and centre-back areas, with at least two fit players in each defensive position. There might be a temptation to strengthen defensively in the summer, but for now, it is not an area that needs desperately adding to. It is a similar situation in attack, with the Reds in a good position in the wing position, albeit with Jadon Sancho &aposs situation still somewhat unclear.

Like in defence, the Reds might be tempted to look for permanent attacking recruits in the summer, but in January, there are other areas that should be the priority. While Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen make up the first-choice midfield trio, the options behind them are minimal.

Donny van de Beek would have been relishing the upcoming run of matches, but unfortunately, the Dutch midfielder is set to be sidelined for a period of time after suffering an injury in the win over Bournemouth. With the former Ajax man out of the side for the meantime, it means Scott McTominay and Fred are the only other senior, fit central midfielders.

Considering the amount of matches to come in January, and in the months that follow, it would certainly benefit Ten Hag&aposs side to add another midfielder, even if that comes on loan for the remainder of the campaign. It will be vital that Casemiro and Eriksen&aposs minutes are carefully managed, and Fernandes would also benefit from a rest wherever possible, too.

Ten Hag certainly won&apost just sign players for the sake of it, and nobody would suggest that he does. However, even with just January in mind, the Reds would be boosted by the arrival of reinforcements this month. Should United pick up an injury or two, they could suffer from the repercussions later down the line. With how well the team have been performing in recent months, missing out on a top-four position – or even a trophy – because of a lack of squad depth would be incredibly frustrating for all involved.