Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Solskjaer Offers Promising Updates On Frenchman’s Future: Should Man United Still Look For A New Midfielder?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

As reported by Talksport, Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer is firm that there is nothing wrong with Paul Pogba’s commitment with Manchester United amid speculations linking him to a move away from Old Trafford. The midfielder missed United’s friendly against AC Milan due to a “back spasm”.

When asked about the player’s commitments, Solskjaer said, “I’ve no doubts at all. I wasn’t expecting him (on the plane). I spoke to him after training and he didn’t feel right. Paul will probably be back early next week training. It’s not an injury, he just felt some pain. We didn’t want to risk anything this weekend and he should be OK for Chelsea. I hope so.”

This is definitely a positive update for the Manchester United fans. But, given the current situation in midfield, should the Red Devils go after a new midfielder irrespective of what happens in Pogba’s transfer saga this summer?

Lack of reliability in the holding midfield slot

One of the main issues for United last season was their lack of balance and quality at the base of their formation. Club’s first-choice holding midfielder Nemanja Matic struggled with lack of consistency. His passing was awful while the Serbian was also easily beaten in many instances.

Matic’s terrible form forced Solskjaer to rely on the services of Scott McTominay. But, the Scot, at the end of 22, has minimal experience at the highest level of football. Although he is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the current team, it remains doubtful whether or not he can emerge as a first-team regular for the Red Devils in the upcoming season. Hence, the addition of a new midfielder could be a logical choice.

Herrera’s departure and Fred’s struggles

Matic wasn’t the only midfielder who struggled last season, with Fred also failing to make an impression in his debut season in the Premier League. The Brazilian was brought in from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of €59 million last summer. But, he ended up featuring in just over 1,000 minutes of league football.

Add to that, United had to deal with the departure of Ander Herrera. The Spaniard left the club and joined Paris Saint-Germain after seeing out his contract at the end of his last season.

His departure left a huge void in the midfield department, which means Manchester United will be in deep trouble should the likes of Andreas Pereira and Fred fail to deliver in this new season. That is unless, they opt to sign a new midfielder, who can provide Solskjaer with an additional option in the middle of the park.

Even Pogba has been inconsistent

Pogba ended the 2018/19 campaign as the most prolific midfielder in the Premier League, scoring 13 goals. But, around half of those goals came from penalties, and though the Frenchman did well to register nine assists to his name, he appeared inconsistent.

Especially during the final phase of the campaign, Pogba suffered a considerable dip in form. In fact, he scored only two goals in the last 12 league games – a period that saw United slump to five defeats. Therefore, it’s probably needless to say that the Red Devils can’t be overreliant on the services of the ex-Juventus star even if he ends up staying at Old Trafford.

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