Denis Zakaria to Manchester United: How signing would affect each of club's five midfield options

Manchester United’s need to sign a central midfielder has been more evident than ever in recent matches. German newspaper SPORT1 report the club have been in contact with Denis Zakaria.

Zakaria is available at a knockdown price due to his expiring contract. If United do push through with the move it will help the team out, but what will it mean for each of the club’s current midfield options? Here is a breakdown.


Fred will be given a chance to establish himself as Zakaria’s midfield partner, but he will see his playing time reduced. The ‘McFred’ partnership will be broken up, and this can work out to his benefit.

Fred can be used more sparingly, preserving his energy, and he will also be given license to get forward more, in a role he has enjoyed for Brazil.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Scott McTominay

McTominay will be battling it out with Fred for a spot alongside Zakaria. Like his teammate, he will benefit from being played in a more forward position.

As we have seen at times during his United career, this is where McTominay is at his best. Freed of some defensive responsibilities he can kick on – but he will also see his playing time reduced and he will no longer be an automatic starter.

Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic’s career at Manchester United will come to an abrupt end if Zakaria is signed. The intention to sign the Swiss ace will be to replace Matic, 33.

It’s possible Matic hangs around until the end of the season, but his playing time will drastically reduce, and that’s saying something considering he has started just seven league matches.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba’s return from injury combined with Zakaria’s possible arrival could leave United with a totally new look midfield.

For years it has been put forward that Pogba needs a Zakaria-type player alongside him to thrive. Could this finally work, in a last gasp throw of the dice?

A successful partnership between the two players could even lead to player and club resolving his future and coming to an agreement over a contract extension.

Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek’s prospects could become more focused if Denis Zakaria arrives. Currently the Dutchman is being considered for roles as both an attacking and holding midfielder, and is unable to secure a place in either position.

With Zakaria at the club, Van de Beek gets pushed more towards competing for an attacking midfield role, and this is where he is at his best. Added focus can help him in his efforts to find a role and help the team.

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