3 No.10s Man United should target in the January window
Man United were amongst the highest-spending teams in the Premier League this summer, with the Red Devils forking out a fortune to bring in the likes of Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as a part of their squad rebuild.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his intentions very clear during the summer transfer window, that he is looking to build a team for the future with top-quality young talents in a bid to restore the club’s glory days that seem to have disappeared since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Indeed, the fountain of youth currently flowing at the club under the guidance of Solskajer but the fans at Old Trafford will be less than impressed with United’s lacklustre start to the ongoing campaign.
After a thumping 4-0 defeat of Chelsea on the opening day, the Red Devils have once again come under scrutiny for some pretty ordinary performances, including a shock defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace at home and a lazy 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Well, there is still plenty of time left in the season for United to hit the ground running in top-gear but going by what we have seen from their performances so far, Solskajer has a lot more work to do even after plugging the holes at the back if the Red Devils are to get back to their old habits of challenging for silverware.
To sum it up in simple words, United need to bring in a new No.10 in January to add a sense of creative spark to their attack, something that the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira don’t seem capable of doing on a regular basis each and every week.
Juan Mata, of course, is a class act but given the Spaniard’s advancing years and his difficulty in acclimatising to Solskjaer’s quick attacking style, United should definitely dip into the market for a new central attacking midfielder. Here are 3 realistic No.10 options for the Red Devils in January:-
1. Christian Eriksen
Man United failed to firm up their interest in the Danish stalwart earlier in the summer but the Sun claims that the Red Devils are set to go all out in their pursuit of the 27-year-old in January.
Eriksen was poised to leave Spurs this summer amidst plenty of speculation over his future but the influential playmaker ensured that the transfer saga involving him continued for at least another six months by deciding to stay put at his current club.
The Dane, who is out of contract at Tottenham next summer, would be in the last six months of his current deal by January and United can certainly look at a cut-price deal to nab the playmaker away from their title rivals.
A tally of 67 goals and 86 assists in 281 appearances for Spurs says it all and at 27, the fans at Old Trafford will be lucky enough to see one of the best playmakers in his prime years if United do go ahead with a swoop in January.
2. James Maddison
Yet to be capped by England at the senior international level, James Maddison might not be a stalwart like Eriksen but the Leicester City man has earned himself plenty of plaudits for his meteoric rise in the Premier League over the past twelve months.
Maddison’s successful breakthrough season in the Premier League last term prompted plenty of interest from the Premier League’s top-six this summer, with United also in the list of potential suitors (h/t Express) but the youngster ended up staying at Leicester.
The 22-year-old has already shown that there are few better than him in the English top-tier when it comes to creating chances and pulling the strings, be it from a No.10 role behind the striker or in a wide attacking role down the right.
Add to that his work rate, dribbling and passing, and it is easy to see why he would be a perfect fit for Solskjaer’s United.
3. David Brooks
Much like Maddison, David Brooks also enjoyed a successful breakthrough season in the Premier League last season at Bournemouth following his move from Sheffield United and turned into a hot property in the summer, with plenty of clubs, including Man United and Spurs (h/t Metro), looking to secure his services.
The 22-year-old, who impressed with 7 goals and 5 assists in the Premier League last term, is yet to return to action this season following a spell on the sidelines, although the versatile attacking midfielder did find the net for Wales during the recent international break.
Brooks’ technical abilities on the ball and a nice turn of pace coupled with his energy, stamina, drive, determination, slick passing, ability to create space and get into the box to score goals make him a tailor-made fit for United’s No.10 role.
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Given his obvious potential and with plenty of years still remaining on his contract with the Cherries, the Welsh prodigy is unlikely to come on the cheap but that should not prevent United from making a renewed attempt to sign him.