Four attacking midfielders that would give United a creative spark

Manchester United have come unstuck on too many occasions this season against lower table teams as their creativity problems continue to resurface.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used his first summer transfer window in charge to resolve a leaky defence and sign a promising Championship talent.

The additions of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bisska have solidified a defence, which looked all at sea last season.

The contract renewals of Victor Lindelöf and David de Gea as well as the emerging Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird means that Solskjaer can focus his efforts on improving United in other departments.

With Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard struggling to influence matches, Andreas Pereira has been given an extended run in the side in the attacking midfield role.

However, as industrious and energetic the Brazilian has been, his decision making has flattered to deceive on too many occasions.

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Angel Gomes hasn’t been given a run in his favoured position like Pereira has and with Paul Pogba getting closer to a return, the World Cup winner could be the man to take control of the attacking midfield position.

Nevertheless, United need to add some guile and risk to their play, there have been matches this season where our build up play has been ponderous and lacking imagination.

Here is a look at four top options to fill the void in United’s attack…

James Maddison

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Maddison’s stock is rising with every passing game and the ammunition he provides Jamie Vardy is everything that Rashford, Martial and James are currently craving.

The 22-year-old is always eager to get on the ball and his first thought in possession is how can he hurt the opposition.

The former Norwich man has 6 goals and 2 assists from 13 matches this season, he has the mindset and temperament to succeed at Old Trafford, he would relish carrying the responsibility of being United’s chief orchestra.

A lot of Maddison’s goals come from long-range and he is also enhancing his reputation as a specialist free-kick taker.

Maddison, who made his England debut against Montenegro, would thrive collecting the ball on the half-turn and seeing the runs in-behind United’s pacey trio make.

He may be averaging 3 shots, 2.2 key passes and 2.5 dribbles per game in the Premier League, but what is equally as impressive is his 2.1 tackles per game.

He would suit the pressing and high intensity style Solskjaer is looking to implement.

Bruno Fernandes

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Surely Manchester United cannot pass up the opportunity to sign Fernandes again in January.

It is clear that Sporting Lisbon’s talisman is eager to test himself in one of the big leagues and it was a real surprise that he remained in Portugal after the summer transfer window.

The 25-year-old who can play in a midfield three or in the number 10 role opening the scoring for his country in their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Luxembourg.

So far this season Fernandes has scored 9 goals and registered 6 assists in 17 matches.

If United don’t sign Fernandes, they could come against him in the Europa League later in the season where he is averaging 4.8 shots, 1.5 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per game.

There were reports that United didn’t pursue Fernandes in the summer due to him taking too many risks in possession, but it should be for that very reason why we snap him up in January.

Hakim Ziyech

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There aren’t many better creators than Ajax’s talented Moroccan, he is as good as it gets right now.

At the age of 26, Ziyech is entering his prime years and United need to be at the front of the queue when he decides that he is ready to move on from the Dutch giants.

Ziyech’s ability to play on the right-wing should also appeal to Solskjaer, his wand of a left-foot would give United’s attack a completely different outlet.

In 21 matches this season, Ziyech has scored 6 goals but he has amassed a staggering 15 assists already this season.

Ajax have never stood in the way of their young players who wanted to embark on a new challenge.

United need to put together an offer, which is just too good to refuse, the addition of Ziyech would be a real statement of intent.

Jack Grealish

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If Solskjaer wants to continue signing young British homegrown talent then Grealish could be high on his target list.

The 24-year-old is flourishing in the Premier League with his beloved Aston Villa, but could he be tempted to part ways with his beloved club to chase trophies.

United’s pursuit of Grealish could be accelerated if Leicester refuse to entertain any bids for Maddison.

Grealish, who will be hoping to make a late charge into England’s Euro 2020 squad can play in central midfield, in the number 10 position or out wide.

Villa’s captain loves to drive forward from deep and showcase his dribbling skills, but he also thrives in tight areas where he can link up with the forwards with quick interplay.

In 12 matches across all competitions, Grealish has scored 4 goals and made 4 assists.

He is currently averaging 1.8 shots, 2.5 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per game, but the threat he brings to teams is shown by the special treatment he receives.

Grealish is way out in front in the league for the volume of fouls he receives, he is currently being fouled 4.1 times per game. Wilfred Zaha is in second place with 3.2.

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