As the mid-season transfer window draws near, the speculations have grown. According to word on the grapevine, Manchester United are in pursuit of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, with scouts reportedly going out to watch him on Sunday as the Serbian international plays against Bologna in the Serie A.
Should United be prioritizing a defender at this point? In defence, United is well covered with Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly top notch on their day. What the defence team at Old Trafford needs is some major boost in confidence not added quality.
Watching Manchester United struggle against city rivals Manchester City on Sunday, it was hard to sweep away the fact that they direly need playmaker who can make things work.
Taking a critical look at the Red Devil’s play and comparing it to that of a team which control the game from the central park, there is always that magician waving his magic wand. Controlling the direction of the game, deciding where the attack should come from, either left, right or center.
Players like Luka Modric, Thiago Alcantra, Sergio Busquets and Isco can provide justice to the above theory.
Even though United’s midfield is filled with top talents in the likes of Paul Pogba, Fred and Matic, none of them seem willing to shoulder the responsibility of controlling the game.
When United loses possession in opposition’s half, the midfielder are lagging, unable to crumble the opposition’s attack, which makes it easier for the opponent to proceed to the point where little else can be done by the defence.
Even though Fred and Pogba try to partner with the wingers, Matic usually fail to meet them halfway, leaving a big hole in the middle of the park.
The void affords opponent the opportunity to man-mark Mourinho’s men as well as keep their formation intact.
At this point, if Mourinho cannot get his midfielders up on their feet, he needs to find competent replacement. Reinforcing the team with a new defender is not a bad idea but it should not top their shopping list. United does not need a defender at the moment but a playmaker who can take charge of the game.