Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants ‘complete’ midfielders in his Manchester United side who can ‘play’.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on MUTV ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Ham United, the United boss couldn’t help but name three former United legends who dominated the middle of the park.
Solskjaer said: “We want central midfielders who can play. Today’s football is about he’s a good 6, 8, 10, back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Bryan Robson.
“You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.”
Paul Pogba is definitely a midfielder that knows how to ‘play’ and he has started the season in very good form.
The Frenchman contributes to both sides of United’s game – attack and defence. Alongside Pogba, Bruno Fernandes is United’s other chief creator, but he also puts in the hard yards to ensure he presses from the front and wins the ball back for his team.
Scott McTominay has the capabilities to become a powerful box-to-box player who dominates games for United.
While Donny van de Beek is more of a technician, who specialises in one or two touch passing and in Fred and Nemanja Matic, Solskjaer has two players that are more defensive minded.
But the Norwegian believes that it is important to strike a balance in his team to ensure you don’t caught out.
He added: “It’s a balance between how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.”
Pogba is one of the most complete midfielders in world football. He has the shooting and passing range to win games, alongside his quick feet, but he also possesses the physical qualities to win the ball back for his team.
Jude Bellingham, a midfielder that United missed out on, has the quality to play deep and further forward. He’s a threat in possession, but also works hard to break up the play.
Ruben Neves may sit deep for Wolves, but he has the passing range to dictate the tempo of a match and score the odd screamer. He will also rack up the number of tackles and interceptions he makes per game.
Declan Rice may not score that many goals, but he has great technical qualities which means he is comfortable taking the ball in any pressure situation. Out of possession, the West Ham midfielder will hassle and harry opponents to ensure he protects his defence.
United’s transfer business over the years has been crying out for a defensive midfielder, but maybe Solskjaer is looking at potential targets who are ‘complete’ instead of being a specialist.
Time will tell who Solskjaer targets, but it could mean that United’s team becomes even more adventurous if the ‘complete’ midfielder is signed.