Man Utd are in a tough spot, and reports from the Daily Mail have made things worse. According to the publication, Paul Pogba wants to leave Old Trafford this summer, and with less than one day to go until the transfer window slams shut, that leaves the Red Devils in a difficult position.
Losing Pogba would, naturally, be bad news for the club, but if their hand is forced, they’ll have to scramble to find a solution.
Fortunately, the club do have options, even if none of them are easy.
The simple truth is that, despite his quality, Paul Pogba is replaceable, and Man Utd have the bodies available to them to be able to cover most of his absence. However, they will need to sign a big name to replace the star power that would be lost by the departure of Pogba.
But how would they go about replacing him and keeping a solid midfield unit?
Well, first, you’d need to consider formation. A 4-3-3 formation has been used by Mourinho in recent years, and it’s a setup that makes sense. It offers a great balance of defence and attack, and it allows the use of three talented midfielders.
Sitting at the foot of that midfield, with or without Pogba, should be Nemanja Matic. Matic has been sensational since his move from Chelsea to Old Trafford, and he offers a brilliant defensive shield. He’s comfortable in the air, given his size and stature, yet he’s just as good with the ball at his feet. He proved during his time with Chelsea that he can also make an impact going forward, and so the Serbian would be wise to still look to make an impact going forward when he can.
Slightly ahead of him, Man Utd should be looking to use Fred. He’d be able to make up somewhat for the loss of energy brought on by the potential departure of Pogba, and that’s important. He’d look to run the channels and make an impact both defensively and going forward, making use of his tackling and ball-winning ability in conjunction with his terrific quality with the ball at his feet.
Alongside him, though, Man Utd will need to make a signing. One thing that this midfield lacks is creativity, and that’s why Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago would be a good choice. The Red Devils were linked with a move for him earlier this summer, and a deal makes sense. His frame is slight, but he more than makes up for that with his incredible technical ability. He’s the ideal man to be firing balls forward into the path of someone like Romelu Lukaku, whilst he’s also smart enough to keep things simple when needed. He’s far more consistent than Pogba, even if he won’t be able to bring the physicality.
Replacing Pogbaa wouldn’t be easy, but with a bit of investment and a clever use of his current personnel, Mourinho could make it work.
Man Utd fans – thoughts?
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