Manchester United’s chances of salvaging the season would be boosted with a move for Hakim Ziyech in January.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were given a footballing lesson by Manchester City in the first half of the Carabao Cup semi-final clash.
In a game where the decision to start Jesse Lingard yet again backfired, Pep Guardiola had in his starting 11, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling.
The Premier League holders had both David Silva and Phil Foden on their bench with Leroy Sane still to return from injury.
That is the embarrassment of riches Guardiola has at his disposal, Solskjaer could only dream of having that quality at his disposal.
The Norwegian’s backing of Lingard has become ridiculous, but it is also a subtle statement to the club’s hierarchy that he needs reinforcements.
Step forward Ajax’s creative wizard Hakim Ziyech, if United are serious about bridging the gap to the likes of City and Liverpool, players like the Moroccan have to be signed.
A report by ESPN which states that United could target Donny van de Beek also highlights the admiration Solskjaer has for his teammate Ziyech.
One of the best playmakers around
Ziyech is one of the most prolific creative players in Europe and is a player Manchester United cannot afford to miss out on.
His goalscoring contribution numbers this season are mind-boggling, he has 8 goals and a staggering 21 assists from 28 matches.
We are only halfway through the season and he is on track to eclipse the impressive number of assists he registered in the last campaign (24).
Manchester United’s young, talented and pacey forward line is reliant on scoring goals from our trademark counter-attack, but having a player in the ilk of Ziyech would give United a different way to hurt teams.
The likes of Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata don’t have the ability to carve open teams with defence-splitting passes, but Ziyech possesses the range of passing to pick out his team mates from all angles.
The ESPN report also added that United have made an attacking midfielder a priority target this summer, along with a right-sided midfielder.
The addition of Ziyech would give Solskjaer the opportunity to either play him wide right or in the number 10 role due to the Moroccan’s versatility.
Signing Ziyech would solve two major problem areas for Manchester United and would significantly ease the burden on Dan James, who a lot has become expected of due to his electric start.
United are missing that star quality player who has the capabilities to score a goal out of nothing, Ziyech similar to Arjen Robben has a wicked left foot, which forces defenders to either stand off and give him time or dive in recklessly.
Such is his quality, Solskjaer could give Ziyech a free role and an opportunity to express himself, which in turn would result in United winning a lot more games then they are currently.
With Ajax failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages they will be more inclined to negotiate the sale of their prized asset.
According to Transfermarkt, Ziyech is valued at £45million. Manchester United need to make a statement in January, signing the 26-year-old could prove the difference in qualifying for the Champions League and therefore signing other long-term targets come the summer.
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