Manchester United’s lack of creativity in the midfield department is a nightmare which shows no sign of ending. Emi Buendia has a chance to state his case at Old Trafford this weekend.
The two attacking midfielders that United are constantly linked with are James Maddison and Jack Grealish.
Solskjaer would love to sign either of the English duo, but the chances of completing a January deal for either are extremely slim.
That leaves the Norwegian having to pick between Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata for the number 10 role with Angel Gomes barely getting a look in and Paul Pogba suffering another injury setback.
Norwich City’s Buendia has been a creative revelation in his first season in the Premier League, and although he operates on the right-wing, Solskjaer should be sending his scouts out to watch the Argentine.
Up there with the best
After the 21st gameweek, as it stands only Kevin de Bruyne (73) has created more chances than Buendia (62) in the Premier League this season according to Squawka.
For context, Grealish has created 52 chances and Maddison 49. Buendia, who is outshining the young English pair, isn’t getting anywhere near the plaudits he deserves.
Only City’s Belgian midfield marvel (12) and Liverpool’s full-back phenomenon Trent Alexander-Arnold (8) have produced more assists than Buendia (7).
The 23-year-old is yet to open his goalscoring account in the Premier League, but his role as chief creator is going to be crucial in the Canaries quest for survival.
Teemu Pukki has certainly benefitted from the vision and guile the Argentine possesses, alongside Daniel James to Marcus Rashford and De Bruyne to Sergio Aguero, the Norwich pair are the most prolific assist to goalscorer combination in the Premier League (4).
Since joining the Carrow Road outfit in July 2018 for just £1.35million from Getafe, Buendia is averaging a goal contribution every other game. He has scored 8 goals and registered 24 assists from 63 matches.
Old Trafford audition
United host Norwich in a must-win game at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday and it will be an opportunity for Solskjaer to scout Buendia directly.
Despite the probable absence of Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Buendia will fancy their chances of opening up a depleted and fragile Manchester United defence.
The Argentine may have the ability to unlock defences, but he is no one trick pony, he is also averaging 3.2 dribbles per game which highlights his confidence and quality to take on defenders.
Another area of his game that should appeal to Solskjaer is his desire to win the ball back for his team.
The winger is averaging 2.4 tackles per game, which is more than any United player apart form tackling specialist Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.1).
Buendia might not be the box office name United fans are craving, but he fits the profile of player that Solskjaer wants and with Norwich languishing at the bottom of the table they may be tempted to cash in on their prized assets in the summer if they get relegated.
An eye-catching performance against United will only add to Buendia’s burgeoning reputation.
- Talented Manchester United duo celebrate after making their full international debuts
- Ex Manchester United youngster Josh Harrop looks to relaunch his career at new club
- 10 goal contributions in 5 under-23 games: United have made great decision over wonderkid
- 'Don't get involved'… New Manchester United CEO warned not to interfere
- Mason Greenwood reacts as United teammate Amad seals loan move to Rangers