The argument for Manchester United to sign a world class holding midfielder continues to gather weight as the season unravels.
But the club’s dismal tackling statistics adds to that argument but also highlights an issue across the team.
Going into the second international break of the season, not only does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side average the least amount of tackles per game in the Premier League.
But the Reds have the second worst ratio across Europe’s top five leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France) we rank 97th out of 98 teams.
Only Serie A side Sassuolo (10.3) average less tackles per game than Manchester United (12.1) according to WhoScored.
For context, Monaco (22.1) average the most tackles per game in the same category and in Aurelien Tchouameni, they have a player that would significantly improve United’s current midfield predicament.
What do the stats tell us?
Yes, the big clubs are expected to tackle less considering they will dominate possession in most matches.
But last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea average 16.7 tackles per game, French giants Paris Saint Germain, who have a squad brimming with individual talent average 16.6 tackles and Bayern Munich average 16.3 tackles.
After Fred, who has won 14 tackles in the Premier League, United’s second highest tackler in the top-flight is Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes who both have six tackles.
With Solskjaer looking to implement a high press and defend from the front mentality in his team, our tackling stats should be greater.
Winning the ball high up the pitch and turning over possession will give our formidable forward line the opportunity to punish teams.
With a crucial run of fixtures upon us, Solskjaer’s players are going to have to win their individual battles and duels.
Let’s hope that come the November international break when we revisit these stats that our standing has dramatically improved and there is cause for optimism.
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