Morgan Schneiderlin became the first victim of the overpopulated Manchester United squad after a move to Merseyside club Everton was announced on Tuesday evening. The teams have agreed upon a fee of £22 million for the French midfielder, and a transfer is expected to be completed in the coming days with just personal terms left to agree.
Things didn’t turn out as everybody had expected. Given the options of Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Schneiderlin in the centre midfield, Carrick was the popular choice to be the excess baggage in Mourinho’s squad. Neither did he have age on his side, nor was he close to any historical record like Wayne Rooney that United would drag him like a rotten sack. However, Carrick has now become an important part of Mourinho’s attempt to be in the top four and Schneiderlin has been shown the way out.
Manchester United Jose Mourinho expressed his mixed feelings on Schneiderlin’s move as he stated that he was both ‘sad and happy’. In his post-match conference after United’s win over Hull City, Mourinho said,
“I’m sorry to lose him, but I’m happy for him to be happy to play every match, to be important [at Everton]. So, I’m sad and happy at the same time.”
The 27-year-old French international has featured only three times in Premier League this season. Although Mourinho has sufficient options in the middle park, he would definitely go for another player in the midfield as he has often been seen experimenting with Pogba’s position and Carrick’s ageing limbs is definitely not reliable in the long run.
Here are 3 replacements, Manchester United should consider signing with Schneiderlin moving out-
The latest revelation in the Borussia Dortmund colours, Julian Weigl has really owned his position in the midfield. The 21-year-old is rated as one of German football’s hottest prospects, already getting four caps for Die Mannschaft. If long-term is what Manchester United is looking at, there is arguably no better option than him in the midfield currently.
His passing range is almost perfect for his age and his awareness of the player around him along with his power to remain concentrated makes him stand out. In his 15 appearances for Dortmund so far, he has completed 1021 passes with a pass accuracy of 91%, of which 71% were forward passes. And he wins 57% of his average duels.
One of the hottest prospects in the transfer market this January, N’Zonzi has often been linked with a return to the Premier League. His experience in the English league, owing to his previous stints at Blackburn and Stoke City, makes him all the more ideal. He could be thrown directly into the first team, whether in a time of crisis or from the beginning to keep a stability in the game.
His brute physical strength blended with dominating aerial ability and composure makes him a crucial figure at the heart of the team.
Fierce rivals Chelsea are eyeing a move for the AS Roma midfielder for a long time now, but the fact that any deal is yet to materialise surely gives United a good opportunity to make a move. Yet another big framed defensive midfielder, Radja Nainngolan could be a good option in United’s midfield. The Belgian international has been a regular in the Roma squad. He has scored four goals this season so far with one assist. He has completed 507 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 79%, of which 77% were forward passes.