Manchester United are targeting a new defensive midfielder ahead of the upcoming transfer window, according to reports.
What’s the story?
Well-known journalist James Cooper recently made a huge claim on a Sky Sports News broadcast, linking Man United with a signing that would dramatically alter how their team sets up. He said (as posted on Twitter by United Journal):
“United could be in the market for a player that lessens the need for a double-pivot and frees up Paul Pogba to express himself.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often opted for a combination of Fred and Scott McTominay, aka McFred, for added protection in big games, but it appears as though the Red Devils boss is hoping to move away from that safety-first approach in the future.
Fans will be buzzing
The Old Trafford outfit made good progress in 2020/21, achieving a consecutive top-four finish in the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Winning the Europa League on Wednesday night in their first European cup final in four years would be the ideal way to end an impressive campaign for the English giants.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done to restore United to their former glory, with a 12-point gap to table-toppers Manchester City evidence of the distance between themselves and league title success.
Several star names have been linked with a move to Solskjaer’s charges in recent weeks. The likes of Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Raphael Varane are all reportedly attracting admiring glances from the club’s hierarchy, but it’s a less attractive position that appears to be taking priority.
In the modern era, a lot of Europe’s top teams, such as City and Liverpool, play with a single holding midfielder, allowing the other midfielders freedom to join the forwards in attack, creating a far more dangerous attacking unit.
City have had Fernandinho and then Rodri in that particular role, Liverpool have Fabinho and Real Madrid use Casemiro, but Solskjaer has very rarely felt comfortable enough to entrust that responsibility upon one man, instead opting to double up in the centre of the park.
What United gain in the defensive third, they lose at the top end of the pitch, and therefore, the club’s supporters will surely be buzzing at Cooper’s latest revelation that the manager plans to be a bit more attacking next year.
If Solskjaer can find the right man for the job, it will allow the likes of Paul Pogba license to roam forward and showcase their world-class creative talent much closer to the opposition goal, potentially causing havoc for opponents.
And, in other news…Forget Lindelof: Man United must swoop for “quality” £50m prodigy