While it was mainly a second-choice team playing in a pre-season friendly, Manchester United’s defeat to QPR was no less embarrassing. The Red Devils conceded four goals at Loftus Road, in the process showing boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his next transfer priority.
United completed the signing of Jadon Sancho on Friday in a move which gives them a fearsome attack for the upcoming campaign.
Having finally brought that saga to an end, United and Solskjaer are now turning to reinforcements elsewhere on the pitch.
Raphael Varane appears to be the frontrunner to be the next arrival at Old Trafford, though talks with Real Madrid are stalling as United attempt to drive down the price.
But while Varane would be a welcome addition to the United squad, bringing a wealth of trophy-winning experience with him, the QPR defeat highlighted another area which is in need of a boost.
Solskjaer made five changes to his side from the opening match of pre-season, replacing his entire midfield.
JUST IN: Man Utd boss Solskjaer’s promising Pogba update amid PSG transfer talk
Matic was taken off in the first round of substitutions, with James Garner joining Pereira in the holding positions.
But that partnership proved to be disastrous for United, with Lyndon Dykes scoring twice and Moses Odubajo adding another as QPR sealed a statement win.
With Matic having been overwhelmed against second tier opposition and Solskjaer unable to trust McTominay and Fred to play as a single holder, his next priority in the market is now clear.
If his new formation is to work, Solskjaer must now sign a new defensive midfielder to take up a position as the holder.
A player in the mould of Declan Rice would be ideal, with Matic and Pereira clearly not options going forward.
United may do well to put their attempts to sign Varane on the backburner in favour of sealing a move for a midfielder.
While Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly do not provoke confidence in United fans, they were part of a defence which only conceded 24 goals from open play last term.
That suggests that while they are not elite defenders like Varane is, the Red Devils can still be title contenders without the Frenchman, something that is not true of their current midfield.