Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Manchester United Closing In On This Midfield Ace: What Will He Bring To Old Trafford?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by the Italian news outlet Repubblica (translated via talkSPORT), Manchester United are inching closer towards sealing a move for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic during this ongoing summer transfer window. The same source has also claimed that the Red Devils are set to offer the Serbian midfield ace a lucrative five-year contract which includes extra incentives via bonuses. 

It is believed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the Serie A star as an ideal replacement for Paul Pogba, who is desperate to leave Old Trafford in search of greener pastures this summer (via talkSPORT). The Premier League giants have already secured the services of Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace so Milinkovic-Savic could turn out to be their third signing of this summer.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s Dip In Form In The Italian Top-Flight

The Serbian playmaker enjoyed a brilliant 2017-18 campaign when he registered 14 goals and created seven assists in 47 matches for Lazio across all competitions. However, his form took a significant dip in the previous season when he struggled to be productive in the final third. Milinkovic-Savic made 41 appearances for the Italian outfit last season, scoring seven goals while providing three assists on all fronts.

The 24-year-old has also represented Serbia in 12 international matches so far and could be in line to play an integral role for his nation in the years to come. He knows what it takes to taste success (in terms of silverware) at the highest level, having won the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup during his time at the Stadio Olimpico. Hence, the Serbian prospect will bring a winning mentality to the Man United dressing room which could help Solskjaer’s men secure a top 4 finish in the English top-flight next term.

What Will The European Sensation Bring To The Theatre Of Dreams?

Milinkovic-Savic can make some driving runs from midfield which creates openings for some of his teammates in the opposition half. The Serbia international is a hard man to dispossess at the centre of the park and can contribute by scoring a few goals from long range. However, the Lazio star needs to add more end-product to his game if he wants to prove his worth in European football.

What makes Milinkovic-Savic such an exceptional midfielder is his ability to put in a defensive shift inside his own half. He tends to win a lot of 50-50 duels and can make some vital interceptions for his side when called into action. The Serbian talent is also a dominant presence in the air due to his phenomenal upper body strength.

The acquisition of an all-around midfielder like Milinkovic-Savic will undeniably bolster Solskjaer’s midfield options at Old Trafford. At 24, the Serie A playmaker has his best years ahead of him which the Red Devils could look to benefit from over the next few seasons.

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