THE tree is up, Christmas shopping is nearing its conclusion, and once the stuffing, turkey, and other trimmings are finished off for another year, football fans will start to look to the New Year and the opening of the January transfer window.
Yet, despite excellent results against Tottenham and Manchester City, Manchester United's tally of 25 points in the Premier League, is their lowest after 17 fixtures of a top-flight season since 1989-90.
And ahead of the trip south to Watford, they’ve also gone 12 league matches - and 13 away Prem games - without a clean sheet.
So for many United followers, the January window can’t open soon enough. The word from the club is still all about the long-term vision – which applies to recruitment too.
But after enduring such a tough start to the campaign, surely Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to add at least one player to his young squad!?
In his pre-match press conference, the Norwegian was asked about speculation linking Erling Haaland with a move to Old Trafford, but he was quick to point out that a deal wasn’t quite over the line.
EXPERIENCE VS YOUTH
Do United need an older head to help them through the remaining months of the season, or does Solskjaer stick with what he has?
Haaland is a goalscoring machine and has shown in the Champions League that he is capable of scoring in the biggest competition.
At 19, what he doesn’t have is a lot of experience on the biggest stage. Solskjaer should be looking at Timo Werner instead.
The German has been delivering at the top level - in the Bundesliga and for Germany - for three-and-a-half years now and that cannot be ignored.
United may be blessed with serious pace in their attack but Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are not the most experienced quartets.
United splashed out more than £150million on Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire last summer, but recouped almost half that through the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and Matteo Darmian to Parma.
There has been a more considered approach to spending but earlier this year United announced an increase to their net debt.
Haaland would cost a whopping £76m and he’d inevitably demand a huge wage. There’s also the extortionate agent fee Mino Raiola is said to want.
Solskjaer has a budget over the next two windows. Why take a risk on teenage Haaland when he could bring in 23-year-old Werner who would be less of a risk and cheaper.
Transfer talk will be put to one side on Sunday with the trip to Watford. We won’t see any new signings but Solskjaer will come up against new Hornets manager Nigel Pearson.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in midweek against Colchester United in the Carabao Cup and has been directly involved in nine goals in his last nine league matches, with seven goals and two assists.
An injury to him could force United to act in January but they insist that they won’t make any knee-jerk reactions.
There’s no doubt that United need help in forward areas, it’ll be interesting to see if Solskjaer sticks with the script and opts for youth, or goes for a more “ready-made” choice.
Performances and results against sides like Watford, might just alter his thinking.