Thursday, June 1, 2023

Who Should Replace This Injured Star In Manchester United’s Midfield?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Manchester United and Jose Mourinho have made a great start to the new season of the Premier League picking up 9 points from 3 games going into the first international break of the new season. The manager has made a number of changes from the squad that disappointed in the league last season and has added loads of quality to help him compete on all four fronts this season. But of all the big name signings that have helped Mourinho to those 9 points, one player whose efforts have gone unnoticed is Marouane Fellaini in the midfield.

The former Everton man has played every game of the campaign for Manchester United this season and has been such an influential player for the club that the manager himself urged the fans to start treating him as a top class player. He has assumed a role of a defensive midfielder alongside world record signing Paul Pogba and has been a man mountain in the midfield for the club helping them in their transition from defence to attack. However, the last game against Hull produced a bit of a scare for the Red Devils as it is now revealed that the Belgian international has picked up a back injury that could keep him out of action for a month.

This will come as a huge blow for the club who have found a midfield pairing that has managed to dominate games for the team in the new season. This injury will leave Mourinho in search of another player who can replace him in the starting XI and though it would be easy to spend on one with the transfer market still open, he should try and assess his options within the squad to get him through this injury scare. Manchester United have the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the current squad to cover for the injury but it will be interesting to see who the Portuguese genius uses alongside Pogba in the games after the international break.

German legend Schweinsteiger has already been told that he has no place in the squad while the rest of the players provide the manager with completely different approaches to the game. Schneiderlin, the former Southampton man, will give Mourinho plenty of mettle in the midfield. He is experienced in the English game and has already accustomed himself to the squad with his time at the club last season and has all the attributes that will make him a perfect second fiddle to Pogba in United’s midfield. He will help Pogba take up a more attacking role as he sits back and dictates play at the base of the midfield.

As teammates look on, Manchester United's English midfielder Michael Carrick (L), Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (C) and Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (R) take part in a team training session at their Carrington Training Centre in Manchester, north west England on March 16, 2016 ahead of their UEFA Europa League second leg football match against Liverpool. / AFP / Paul ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Carrick is another option for Mourinho if he opts for some experience in the midfield. Carrick is one of the most experienced players at the club at the moment and his inclusion in the squad provides United with more balance. He will keep the ball moving in the midfield and will use his experience to keep his team away from danger in the middle of the field making him a perfect suit to Mourinho’s game. Ander Herrera, on the other hand, will complement Pogba to perfection in the squad. Both players are similar in their approach to the game and can take turns to sit back and defend or go on marauding and purposeful runs that will blow opponents apart.

The fact that the manager has an array of option in front of him to solve an injury crisis shows the amount of depth Mourinho has in his squad. It will be interesting to see who he uses come the Manchester derby a couple of weeks from now but with the quality in the squad, Mourinho should be able to replace Fellaini for a month. Who do you think should replace the injured Fellaini in the game against Manchester City at Old Trafford a couple of weeks later?

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