United are reportedly considering adding to their options in the defensive midfield position next summer, with both Fred and Scott McTominay having overtaken Nemanja Matic in the pecking order, per Daily Mail. The Red Devils brought in Donny van de Beek in the summer but he is expected to challenge for a more attack-minded role.
Matic replacement could be needed
The Red Devils had relied upon Matic’s qualities in midfield to protect the back four and he was an integral part of the side which finished in second place in the Premier League 2017/18. However, since then his appearances have dropped, with the Serbian making just 18 league starts last term (Sofascore).
Matic averaged one interception and 2.2 tackles per game last season, but he gave the ball away on average 9.8 times per match (Sofascore). In contrast, Zakaria was integral part of Mönchengladbach’s midfield last term and averaged 1.6 interceptions and 2.1 tackles, as well as completing two successful dribbles (Sofascore).
United are now set to battle it out with both Chelsea and Bayern Munich for the 23-year-old next summer. Mönchengladbach are remaining firm over their £45m valuation of the midfielder, despite his contract having just two years left to run, per Bild (via Daily Mail).
Zakaria could be astute United signing
Zakaria is player with plenty of pedigree and potential to develop further, with the midfielder having been likened to Zinedine Zidane by current team-mate Yann Sommer. The 23-year-old’s impressive form last term, which saw him average 87% passing accuracy and be dribbled past just 0.8 times per game (Sofascore), shows he can perform a key role in front of a back four.
United have lacked a world-beating holding midfielder since Matic’s decline in the last two seasons. The Red Devils have recruited some promising young talents this year (such as Van de Beek and Facundo Pellistri) and adding Zakaria to that list would seem a very astute piece of business next summer.
In other news, find out what got these United fans so frustrated after the latest update on this player’s future here and don’t forget to leave a comment below!
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