Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Manchester United lack a midfield general in the style of club legend Bryan Robson.
The Telegraph quoted Solskjaer at a press event in Australia in which Robson was in attendance: “I never had the honour of playing with Robbo but we need a player like him in the team.”
United should always be trying to add a player of Robson’s calibre at any cost. Perhaps now though they will try to act on it.
Finding a player of his quality isn’t easy. Here are two big money midfield generals United could look to sign to fill the void…
The Serbian midfielder has been linked on and off with United over the past year. Italian outlet Sportsmediaset sparked off the latest round of rumours a fortnight ago.
Milinkovic-Savic has scored 17 goals over the past two seasons.
His 12 goal effort in 2017/18 matched Robson’s career best from midfield from 1983/84 for United.
He is an all round player, whose attributes were highly praised by ex-Italian interntional Fabrizio Ravanelli.
Ravanelli told Calciomercato: “Sergej is a fantastic player who has everything — speed, dribbling, physical strength and game vision. I watched him in the Italian Cup final against Juventus, and he is a complete player.”
He would cost a high fee. Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported Lazio would want a fee equating to £86 million.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has been on United’s radar since April, The Times report, although interest has not been stepped up.
Niguez has been compared to Bryan Robson since the start of his career, The Mail claimed earlier this year.
The report stated: “The similarities with the United and England legend were first made around the time Sir Alex Ferguson’s brother and scout, Martin Ferguson, was watching the developments of the then 18-year-old Saul, who went out on loan from Atletico Madrid to Rayo Vallecano.”
Now 24, Saul is reportedly open to leaving Atletico for a new challenge, with The Mail reporting business could be done at £80 million.
The Spaniard is better defensively than Milinkovic-Savic, although lacks the goalscoring prowess. This season he scored four goals, while picking up 10 yellow cards.
Whoscored report Saul has made more tackles (215) than any La Liga player since the start of the 2017/18 season. This is the sort of fight and commitment Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is calling for in midfield.
Neither player is perfect, and a carbon copy of Robson is impossible to find. Nonetheless it would be nice to see United try, and invest big money in a potential solution.
Alternately, Aston Villa’s John McGinn, also linked by The Sun, could be a cheaper solution to the pair.
As Solskjaer notes, a midfield general is sorely lacking and until we find one, it’s going to be difficult to reach our former level.
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