Where we think Csaba Laszlo will look to improve his Dundee United squad in the new year

Finding a “physical” forward in the transfer window could be the perfect foil for Dundee United striker Scott McDonald as the Tangerines look for more goals in their quest to top the table.

Despite not managing to finish their game at Queen of the South, Csaba Laszlo’s Dundee United team once again showed why they’re the bookies favourite to take the Championship title.

After 45 minutes at Palmerston, the points looked to be heading only one way after the Tangerines dominated the opening period.

Of course, the second half became all buts and maybes over what would’ve happened after referee Craig Thomson pulled the plug on the action during the half-time break thanks to a frozen pitch.

Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo

And now they’ve dropped to second behind St Mirren in what has become a two-horse race thanks to the game being called off.

However, once again under Laszlo, chances were being created left, right and centre with only the finishing touch needed.

But what has the United gaffer done in his five matches in charge — and where will he look to improve his squad in January?

Defence

Mark Durnan

With only two goals conceded in his five-and-a-half games in charge, Laszlo’s strategy to dominate possession has worked so far.

Chances for opposing sides have been few and far between because the Tangerines have been keeping the ball for large parts of their contests.

Centre-back Mark Durnan has been ever-present and has looked assured, while the experience of Tam Scobbie next to him seems to be Csaba’s choice of defensive pairing. Paul Quinn has been in for a couple of starts while William Edjenguele has been relegated to a bit-part role.

With four good centre-backs and Jamie Robson getting better with every game he plays, the position Csaba is looking at is right-back. At the moment, Stewart Murdoch and Lewis Toshney are both injured with Scobbie taking that role on Saturday.

Laszlo has already looked at a couple of right-backs on trial in the past few weeks with one impressing in a bounce game against Dundee last week.

Midfield

United’s engine-room is looking to be the strongest in the division at the moment.

Even without Willo Flood, who has rediscovered his form in recent weeks, the middle three of Fraser Fyvie, Sam Stanton and Scott Fraser ran the show at Palmerston on Saturday. That trio ran rings around the Queens midfield, keeping the ball moving and creating chances.

Out wide, Billy King is flying and Paul McMullan is currently working his way back to his best.

The problem Csaba has at the moment is the depth of his squad. With Flood and Jordie Briels injured, the bench is made up of young, inexperienced players.

There is talent in there but Csaba would certainly like to add more experience to bolster the ranks in January.

Strikers

The United manager has made no secret of the fact he is looking for a “physical” striker to boost what he has.

Scott McDonald has been ever-present for Csaba so far, scoring twice, and leading the line.

James Keatings, meanwhile, has struggled for fitness with a hip problem keeping him out of action, including for Saturday’s trip to Dumfries despite the manager hoping he would be fit.

Patrick N’Koyi is the other option but he’s yet to show he can be relied upon.

United fans should expect movement on this front as the manager wants another tactical option, something different from what he already has.

What should excite fans at Tannadice, though, is that United look every inch title favourites and, if Csaba can improve it, so much the better for the Tangerines.

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