Tue. May 17th, 2022

Manchester United need a defensive midfielder. The fans know that, and it seems that the club also knows with the MEN Sport understanding that a defensive midfielder is one of the club’s top goals next season.

There is only one problem, but their main target, Declan Rice from West Ham, is being priced out of a move by his club wanting around £ 90 million for the player, so United will have to look at other options.

In a post-Covid world where the economy will still be tight and one of United’s long-term goals in Erling Haaland becomes available next summer for around £ 73 million, the club must find ways to save money to afford players in all keys positions they need.

But what if I told you that there are three players to suit United’s midfielder’s needs, and then I also told you that all three of those players had expiring contracts and therefore either United can pick them up? on a free transfer next summer or better yet, secure their services for a reduced fee in January to help the team as quickly as possible.

(This is obvious if they are not securing new contracts with their current clubs)

So let’s go through the three players Ole Gunnar Solskjær could consider, starting with:

Franck Kessie

GEWISS STADIUM, BERGAMO, ITALY – 2021/10/03: Franck Kessie from Ac Milan in action during the Serie A match between Atalanta Bc and Ac Milan. Ac Milan wins 3-2 over Atalanta Bc. (Photo by Marco Canoniero / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Franck Kessie is the first player to solve United’s problems in midfield. Fans will remember his questionably ruled out goal against United in the Europa League last season, but he was also an important part of AC Milan’s midfield alongside Ismael Bennacer, who saw AC come in second in the league behind their rivals Inter Milan.

He is a very combative midfielder who is strong in tackling and uses his high physical level to bully opponents off the ball, and his high work speed allows him to influence the game across the pitch.

Besides this, you should not disregard his ability for the ball. Kessie was successful with 80% of his dribbles in the 2020/21 season, showing how he can effectively beat opponents.

He also had a passing accuracy of 84% on the opposition’s half of the pitch, which showed how, despite a more defensive midfielder, he could also influence the game in the future.

And just to put the finishing touches, Kessie is a great criminal. He scored 11 penalties with a conversion rate of 85% in the 2020/22 season. So if Bruno Fernandes or Cristiano Ronaldo are not on the field, then you know who to give the spot-kick to.

Marcelo Brozovic

REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY – OCTOBER 02: (PICTURE OUT) Marcelo Brozovic from FC Internazionale warms up before the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and FC Internazionale at Mapei Stadium – Citta ‘del Tricolore on October 1, 2021 in Reggio nell’ Emilia , Italy. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli / DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Now we have a player from the team that won the Serie A title last season. Marcelo Brozovic has been an important part of the Inter Milan midfield since joining in 2015.

Brozovic is a different type of midfielder than Kessie, as his game is more about controlling the game from deep and distributing the ball out to the rest of his midfielder.

He would give Solskjær easier control of the ball when the team is in possession and alleviate the effects of the opposition’s urgent football.

Last season, he had a pass accuracy of 90% in Serie A and also completed 4.8 long balls per. Fight, which showed how he can be adventurous with his pass.

If Paul Pogba were to leave, he would be the perfect deep playmaker to partner with a midfielder in United’s double focal point.

Denis Zakaria

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 02: Denis Zakaria from Borussia Moenchengladbach in action during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Volkswagen Arena on 02 October 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Christian Verheyen / Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

And when it comes to destroyers in midfield, Denis Zakaria is also out of contract next summer, and some of the best names in Europe are fighting for his signature, and so should United.

The Swiss defensive midfielder came on the field under Marco Rose, and despite the manager’s departure, he is a vital part of Borussia Monchengladbach’s midfield. So far this season, the 24-year-old has been deployed both as part of a two-man and three-man midfield.

As Solskjær wanted a solo number six to play alongside Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, he would fit perfectly into this role. He has recorded 2.2 combined tackles and interceptions per. 90 this season, but Monchengladbach have mainly played teams where they have most of the possession.

He has also chipped in with two goals and an assist in the first five games.


Overall, there is no guarantee that United will be in favor of any of these players, but if they are not in favor of them, it is likely that other teams in the Premier League will and will miss out on one or more of three options. at reduced prices, which will upgrade the midfield completely, seems like it would be a bad assessment from the club.

Which midfielder would you like Manchester United to sign? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter to get involved in the discussion in the comments section below.


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