Tchouameni shines on weekend United's midfield frailties get exposed

Less than 24 hours after Manchester United had surrendered a 2-0 lead against Aston Villa, Aurelien Tchouameni gave a timely reminder of what he could bring to the Reds.

With Scott McTominay suspended, Paul Pogba unavailable and Donny van de Beek not trusted to operate in a deep-lying midfielder position, United had to rely on an ageing Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian doesn’t cover the grass as quick as he did when he was in his prime and when he was booked after a third of the game, Matic was only an ill-timed challenge away from being given a red card.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

As the match wore on at Villa Park, Matic’s midfield partner Fred continued to press high and was at times higher than Edinson Cavani.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

But when Villa broke through the haphazard press, a weary Matic didn’t have the legs to screen United’s defence.

With Ralf Rangnick unwilling to bring van de Beek on, United’s only other realistic midfield option off the bench to play the holding midfielder role was Phil Jones, which pretty much says it all really.

Aurelien Tchouameni produces dominant performance

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Athletic reported earlier this month that Manchester United are prepared to battle Liverpool to sign French international midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

With Tchouameni’s compatriot Pogba likely to leave on a free, van de Beek probably heading for the exit door and Matic potentially following suit, United desperately need midfield reinforcements that go beyond Fred and McTominay.

Last month, it was reported by Eurosport that Chelsea are also interested in striking a deal for Tchouameni, even if it meant he remained at Monaco for the season and did not join until the summer.

But United’s need for the talented youngster is far greater than either Liverpool or Chelsea.

Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/CPS Images/Getty Images

Pogba is clearly a fan of Tchouameni, after calling him ‘extraordinary‘ in September. But instead of playing alongside his compatriot at club level, the 21-year-old would likely be replacing the World Cup winner at Old Trafford.

The youngster produced a dominant performance in Moncao’s 4-0 Ligue 1 win against Clermont Foot yesterday.

WhoScored gave the youngster a 9.21 rating for his display, which was only slightly bettered by his teammate Caio Henrique (9.23).

Tchouameni had more touches (85) than every other player on the pitch apart from Clermont’s Vital N’Simba (86).

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

He won all five of his aerial duels, the most of any player on the pitch, and also won 13 of his 17 ground duels to highlight his combative and battling midfield qualities.

Showcasing his box-to-box midfield qualities and ability to create, Tchouameni made two key passes and completed five of his six dribbles, which was again more than any other player on the pitch.

With his driving runs from deep, Tchouameni was the most fouled player on the pitch (3).

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Protecting his defence and sniffing out danger, Tchouameni made five tackles, which was more than any other player, three interceptions, one clearance, as well as blocking one shot.

If United are serious about addressing our midfield problems once and for all then we need to beat off competition from other clubs to secure Tchouameni’s signature.

He has the potential to be one of the most dominant all-action midfielders Europe and United cannot afford to miss out on him.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.