The Football Manc Cave

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Forget Sancho: Man Utd need to go for 1 of these 3 in January

With Man Utd's move for Jadon Sancho being pushed back until next summer, it leaves room to fix the midfield in Janaury.

Reports now suggest that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to wait until next summer to sign Borussia Dortmund’s English superstar Jadon Sancho. Despite the calibre of signing he is, it works out well for Man Utd that they will have to pursue other targets in the January transfer window…

Such as, to little surprise, a creative midfielder.

Solskjaer’s positive mindset and style of play have certainly turned many frowns upside-down. But with only four points out of a possible nine, the start of the campaign hasn’t gone to plan for the Norwegian.

Without signing a midfielder, every single Man Utd fan predicted the future. Supplying the forwards with goal-scoring opportunities is near impossible with the only midfielder with an eye for a pass is Paul Pogba. However, even Pogba has critical flaws which diminish the opportunities for goal scoring, as he tends to hold onto the ball for too long.

This could be a result of Solskjaer opting to play the Frenchman in a deeper role, but being worth £150million and renowned as one of the world’s best, more needs to be expected of him this season.

Waiting until next summer to sign Jadon Sancho is a good thing for Man Utd. They can now put their funds and focus during the January transfer window into fixing Man Utd’s midfield.

Solskjaer’s favoured front three so far, Rashford, Martial and James, each have two goals from three games. With better supply, there is little room for argument that this forward three can’t bring success to Man Utd.

The midfield is the issue, Man Utd’s squad currently resembles a Polo mint. So, who should Solskjaer target in January to fill the hole in his under-performing team?

Here are three options…

Kai Havertz

Last season, 20-year-old German Kai Havertz scored 17 goals, with 4 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances. This 6 foot 2 midfielder can play in and around the midfield, a very versatile player. Similarly, Jesse Lingard is often played in central midfield, attacking midfield, and wide midfield/wing, just like Havertz.

The difference is that Havertz is seven years younger and can actually impact the team on a very consistent basis. Lingard has zero goals or assists in the Premier League during the 2019 calendar year.

Bruno Fernandes

One of Man Utd’s biggest transfer errors was not bringing in Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes has played three league games for Sporting Lisbon so far this season, scoring 1 and assisting 4 already.

Should Man Utd have signed the Portuguese midfielder in summer, there is little doubt that Solskjaer’s side could have gained better results from the defensive set-ups of Wolves and Crystal Palace.

Wilfred Ndidi

A 22-year-old defensive midfielder. Post-match interviews with the Nigerian show him to be a very humble and graceful professional, the perfect character for what Solskjaer is looking for.

By having this ball-winner in the central defensive midfield position, Paul Pogba will have much more freedom in attacking areas where he is most dangerous.

Ndidi currently has more tackles and interceptions in the Premier League than any other player so far this season. With him guarding Man Utd’s brand new defence, it’s hard to imagine the Reds conceding many goals.

With Pogba higher up the pitch, his tendency to lose possession wouldn’t harm the team nearly as much as when he loses it in his own half. The prime example being Crystal Palace’s winning goal at Old Trafford.

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