Despite employing Michael Carrick on the touchline, Manchester United still haven’t replaced him on the pitch.
Since the great midfielder’s retirement in 2018, the Red Devils have been crying out for a new defensive midfielder.
But despite big investment at both ends of the pitch this summer, United have once again neglected the bit in the middle.
More than £100million was spent to sign forward Jadon Sancho and defender Raphael Varane, two excellent additions.
However, most fans would probably argue midfield should be the club’s priority – that much was clear on social media over the weekend.
Nemanja Matic was deployed in the holding role alongside Fred during the 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday, in a midfield pairing seriously lacking any inspiration.
The first-choice partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred is much-improved and undoubtedly has its qualities, but does it match the strength elsewhere?
With Paul Pogba finally moved forward into a more attacking role, Red Devils boss Solskjaer must be keen to strengthen behind the Frenchman.
Luckily for him, there is still time, and Sunday’s showing might’ve given the proof he needs to justify one more big signing before the window slams shut on August 31.
After all, United have been linked with plenty of midfielders this summer…
Arguably the most underrated player in the Premier League?
The Leicester star, 24, is already established as one of the most irrepressible midfielders in the top-flight after four years at the King Power.
His defensive prowess comes with an exceptional passing ability – but don’t take it from us, just ask former Premier League striker Darren Bent…
“I think he’s a top, top player,” Bent told talkSPORT. “In terms of the holding midfield role, I think he can get into pretty much any team in the Premier League.
“I think he can easily play in any club in the Premier League in terms of the holding role.”
However, it seems incredibly unlikely the Foxes would sell at this stage.
If United do go for a midfielder, the Rennes star is a real possibility.
The 18-year-old is rated highly by Pogba, while his agent Jonathan Barnett labelled him ‘the best young player in the world’ earlier this year.
What’s more, the French club may be forced to sell their star player for as little as £27million, to avoid losing him for free next summer when his contract expires.
Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea have also been linked, but they’re both stacked after a busy summer of business.
United have also been heavily linked with the Wolves midfielder, another proven Premier League star.
At 24, with a superb range of passing, Neves represents exactly the type of profile United are looking for.
So it’s no wonder the Red Devils have been linked with the Portgual star, who might still be available for around £35m.
Speaking on Sunday, Wanderers manager Bruno Lage admitted every player has his price.
“Ruben is happy here and we are happy with him,” he told Sky Sports. “We are not thinking to let anyone leave, but every player has a price.
“You never know, if Messi changes to PSG then anyone can go.”
West Ham’s star player is probably the most attractive option on the market, given both his age and homegrown status.
The 22-year-old can do it all and he’s already England’s first-choice central midfielder.
However, unless the Hammers lower their £100million asking price, Rice is stuck in east London.
Not even big-spending Chelsea seem willing to pay that much for his services.
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