Manchester United’s month-long chase of Mason Mount from Chelsea certainly raised eyebrows, eventually, the Red Devils agreed a £55 million deal for the English midfielder.
There was a question from fans, is Mount the deep-lying playmaker that Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong is?
United’s priority for their box-to-box midfield signing seemingly shifted from a player who has superb ball retention in Frenkie De Jong to a high-pressing attacking number eight in Mount during the turn of the year, or a midfielder in the mold of Mount.
If these two pre-season games are anything to go by, then United are seemingly now looking for midfielders and forwards who are pressing machines and Mount is certainly one. The pursuit of Rasmus Hojlund makes sense, too. The Danish striker is young enough and fit enough to learn how to press effectively.
The attacking trio of the first half against Lyon, Jadon Sancho, Antony, and Amad were all pressing very well, as were Kobbie Mainoo and Mason Mount but one player stood out more than others in the first half.
Hannibal Mejbri impresses
Hannibal Mejbri was brought back into the fold following a loan spell at Birmingham City, but it seemed he could be sold or loaned out again. Well, if these two appearances are anything to go by, then the Tunisian may have a future at Old Trafford.
His tactical understanding, his ability to create chances, and his willingness to press from the front show he could be a useful weapon for Ten Hag.
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Bruno Fernandes will need resting in certain domestic cup games, so why can’t the youngster be given a chance? If he can gain the trust of Erik Ten Hag, then you’d expect him to earn more and more chances going forward.
Mebjri also still possesses that youthful exuberance that the United faithful love and isn’t afraid to jump in for a tackle which will also please the Old Trafford crowd.
It remains to be seen what will happen to the Tunisian midfielder but he will certainly have enhanced his chances of staying at Old Trafford next season, sending a message to the manager with this performance.
Amad Diallo also stars
Amad Diallo was also on loan in the Championship with Sunderland. He, too, put in a good performance with and without the ball to perhaps change Ten Hag’s views on the winger, with a loan likely according to The Athletic.
The winger isn’t as one-footed as Antony and also presses as well as Antony does. The Brazilian still has his qualities but Amad certainly could be a useful weapon if given the opportunities by Erik Ten Hag.
Youngster Dan Gore, who came on in the second half, was also impressive and pressed well, winning the ball back high up a few times. As well as Gore, the returning Donny van de Beek was also impressive and took his volley nicely after a tough spell for the Dutch midfielder.