Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Manchester United Scouting Reports: Luka Modric

Luka Modric is a player widely believed to have been admired by Sir Alex Ferguson for a long time. For several years, there have been rumors of Manchester United being in to make a move for him, but last year, Real Madrid bought him from Tottenham Hotspurs. The rumors refuse to go away, however, and people suggest that should David Moyes fail to acquire the services of Cesc Fabregas after making a third and final 40 million pound bid, he will turn his sights to Luka Modric. So would he be the right choice?

Performance from Last Season:

Luka Modric's time in Madrid started in a surprisingly low note. For the first half of the season, he was largely forgotten, and poor when he played, resulting in him receiving the "honor" of the worst signing of the summer. His cause was certainly not helped by the financial crisis in Spain, and so his price only worsened his predicament. In the second half of the season, however, he truly blossomed and became an important figure in the Madrid midfield. In the league, he made a total of 33 appearances, averaging 46.1 passes per game and having a success rate of 87.7%. In addition, he made 1.4 dribbles per game, resulting in him having an average of 1 shot per game and a total of 3 league goals and assists. In addition, he made an average of 1.7 key passes per game, while being dispossessed 1.1 times per game and turning the ball over 0.6 times per game. Defensively, he made 1.3 tackles per game as well as making 1.4 interceptions per game.  Compared to Manchester United's current midfielders, he makes roughly the same amount of passes as Tom Cleverley, though he has more long balls per game, at 3.5 versus Cleverley's 3. His passing completion is slightly lower than Cleverley's at 87.7% against Cleverley's 90.2%. Modric did however make 11 more appearances in the league than Tom Cleverley and was able to be very influential in the Champions League for Real Madrid. The biggest instance of this was Manchester United's 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16. Upon Nani's red card, Jose Mourinho put Modric onto the pitch, allowing Madrid to take control of the match as Danny Welbeck was no longer able to commit to marking Xabi Alonso. If Welbeck were to continue to mark Alonso, Modric would be free to run the show, which was exactly what he did, capped off by a wonderful 25 yard curling strike to put Real level. This ability to run a match was again seen in his match against Borussia Dortmund, wherein he was the second highest rated player (according to Overall, Modric was very influential for Real Madrid in the season gone by.

How Would He Fit In?

He will partner Michael Carrick in the center of midfield, replacing Tom Cleverley. He will, in essence, provide what Cleverley already does and more. While Cleverley most certainly moves forward while passing the ball around, Modric brings an extra dimension to the attack: his ability to carry the ball forwards. His dribbles per game is drastically higher than all of Mancehster United's current midfield options and this will prove to be key if he were to join the club. He will be able to carry the ball forward much in the vein of Yaya Toure for Manchester City, though probably better as Modric's dribbles per game at 1.4 is higher than Toure's at 1.1, and he also gets dispossessed and turns the ball over less. His passing statistics are practically identical to Tom Cleverley's but an important facet of his play is his vision. His key passes statistic is higher than all of Manchester United's midfielders, and even Fabregas and Fellaini, both of whom spent portions of the seasons in a forward position. He can most certainly play the Hollywood pass, as shown through his 3.5 long balls per game, which would mean we will be able to see quicker counter-attacking from the team as his vision and passing abilities will set either the wingers or one of the strikers through to set another person up or score themselves. He will also be able to hold possession quite well, thereby allowing United to take a slower approach when necessary, but is able to force the game, by dribbling the ball into advanced positions and help set up teammates. Defensively he would be good, as though he may make less tackles per game than Cleverley, he intercepts the ball twice as often, resulting in him taking back possession 2.7 times per game compared to Cleverley's 2.4. His creativity will only further help United when attacking, as potential link-up play with Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney, and Robin van Persie is simply salivating. He also has a very good long shot, giving an added threat to the attack, one very similar to Paul Scholes at his very best, except that he is able to tackle better. At 27, Modric is in his prime, and will perform at his very best for United, and in his later years, he can take over Carrick and do what Scholes did in his latter years: orchestrate play from deep.

The Key Problems:

Signing Luka Modric has plenty of potential to be one of the greatest signings by Manchester United, but he is likely to suffer from the same problem that Fabregas would suffer from if he were to join United: being overrun by powerful players who are still technically proficient. While Modric can definitely control proceedings, one has to wonder as to whether or not he can impose himself on matches when faced against bigger and stronger opposition. One would fear that the lack of a physical presence in the center of the field will just end up hurting United rather than helping the team, no matter how technically skilled the players are. While a person may wish to point out the dominance of Barcelona over the past few years in European football, performing magic with a team of very short, nimble players, they were absolutely annihilated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League this past season. Carrick most certainly has the technical ability, and is willing to work hard for the team, and so is Modric, but the underlying fear is that a big, strong midfield will overrun those two in the center of the park. Defensively, he will still prove to be a better option than Fabregas, but is he the best option? He is in his prime and will play well for at least three years, and after that will likely take over from Carrick in orchestrating the play, but United's current problem will pop up once again. He will certainly provide a boost to the team, but a more long-term option may be the right choice.

To Sign or Not To Sign?

Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders in the world, and he will be bringing his best to Manchester United. He has top tier passing abilities, amazing vision, and carries the ball forwards to force the play. Defensively he is sound, and will prove to be a valuable partner to Carrick in the midfield. But the fear of being overrun by physically dominant and yet very intelligent footballers remains. Modric will be bringing genius options in the attack, and his link up play with United's current attackers should likely bring most opposition defenses to their knees. As he ages, and Carrick goes out of the team, Modric will most certainly take over Carrick's role in orchestrating play from the deep, yet will still burst forward at the right moment, with his killer long shot being eerily familiar to Paul Scholes at his best. But one must wonder if Real Madrid will be willing to sell him, with Xabi Alonso aging and Asier Illaramendi not read for the first team, Modric will likely bridge the gap to introduce Illaramendi to the starting eleven. If Madrid do sell him at his reported price tag at 31 million pounds, he will bring a valuable improvement to the United midfield though the fear of being overrun by the likes of Bayern Munich will remain. Yet the question remains, can he be the next Ginger Prince?

Likelihood: 5/10
Impact: 9/10

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Manchester United Scouting Reports: Marouane Fellaini

One player who is rumored to be wanted by David Moyes at Old Trafford is the Belgian powerhouse Marouane Fellaini. Having been bought by Moyes during his tenure at Everton, and by having a very good season with Everton, many people expect Moyes to bring Fellaini over to Manchester United. With Manchester United also needing a powerful presence in midfield, will Fellaini be the right choice for United?

Performance from Last Season:

In his previous season at Everton, Fellaini proved to be a very important player in David Moyes' (old) side. He made a total of 31 league appearances for the club, but only 4 came as a central midfielder. More often than not he was deployed as a target man up top. In addition, he scored 11 goals and provided 5 assists, though had none in either category in his four matches in central midfielder. He made a good amount of passes per game, at a rate of 52.5 passes per game, through only 79.3% of them actually reached their target. In comparison, Tom Cleverley made an average of 49 passes per game and had 90.2% reaching their target. The lower accuracy could be simply down to Fellaini playing in a higher position, deeper in opposition territory, causing him to be more susceptible to losing the ball, as reflecting in his dispossession rate, 2.4 times a match, and his turnover rate, 2.5 times per match. He makes an average of 2.9 shots per game, putting him much higher in shots taken per match than Manchester United's current midfielders, but then again, this is likely down to his playing in a forward position. One key statistic is that he makes 2.6 successful tackles per game, higher than all of Manchester United's current midfielders and makes 1.2 interceptions per game, though he does give away an average of 2.6 fouls per match.

How Would He Fit In?

More likely than not, Fellaini will come to partner Michael Carrick in the center of midfield, replacing Tom Cleverley who currently occupies that position. An important aspect of his play is the fact that he is big and physical, exactly the type of presence that United need in the midfield. His 2.6 tackles per game put him at a level above Manchester United's current midfielders, and this was at a forward position, so expect that number to rise if he were to move back to midfield, something he says he wishes to do. His interception rate is not as high as Carrick's but that can again be put down to not playing in a midfield role. In moving back, he will be able to read the game more and force the opposition into making mistakes thanks to both his positioning and physical ability. His heading ability will allow Manchester United to become more dangerous from set pieces, as the injury problems of Nemanja Vidic have reduced United's offensive threat on set pieces. In addition, a big, physical presence on the defensive set pieces would be something that is very important, as United's defending on set pieces has been relatively poor as of late. Far too many goals are conceded as a result of set pieces, and Fellaini's size and strength in the box will aid United's defending. His defensive abilities will allow Michael Carrick to have near complete freedom in orchestrating the play from a deep-lying position, similar to how Andrea Pirlo is allowed the freedom to orchestrate play from deep thanks to the hard work of his midfield partners Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio (though Paul Pogba seems ready to take over). In addition, the safety net he provides to the defense will allow United's front four of Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney, Nani, and Robin van Persie to have near-complete freedom to interchange and absolutely destroy opposition defenses if they are to be on song. All in all, Fellaini will prove to be a key, powerful presence in the United midfield.

The Key Problems:

While Fellaini's size and strength prove to be great and potentially key in improving Manchester United's midfield, the problem lies in his technical abilities. He makes only 1.8 long balls per game, less than both Tom Cleverley and Anderson who make 3 and 3.9 respectively. While it may improve by moving backwards to midfield rather than such a forward position, his passing success rate is too low at 79.3%. It needs to improve much more in order for this transfer to be really successful. The passing rate would have been fine had he been making many more passes than he currently does, which is just 3.5 more than Cleverley, and Cleverley's completion rate is at a much higher 90.2%. Most of the time this will not prove to be too big of a problem, as his physical strength and powerful presence will prove important to letting the creative juices of the team flow, but against stronger sides such as Juventus or Bayern Munich, giving the ball away that often is simply suicide. Particularly Bayern Munich's blend of physically dominant yet technically brilliant duo of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez will prove to be a very big problem for Fellaini and Carrick.

The Right Signing?

Marouane Fellaini will prove to be a handful to most midfields that Manchester United will face in the coming seasons. His physical style allows for the rest of the team to have much more creative freedom and destroy opposition defenses. A worry comes with his technical skills, as he does not complete as many passes as he should nor complete as many long balls as the other midfielders. While these two statistics may improve with him moving back to midfield, there is certainly a worry that if against a strong and technically skilled midfield, United may be overrun as he may unintentionally give the ball away too often. Nonetheless, at 25, he is just entering his prime years and will only be improving. But will he take United to the next level and is he worth his reported fee of 23 million pounds? It is a bit of a risk, but most certainly worth it as it would provide the steel that Manchester United have been lacking since Roy Keane left the club.

Likelihood: 7/10
Impact: 8/10

Monday, July 29, 2013

Manchester United Scouting Reports: Cesc Fabregas

David Moyes has made some rather large news as of late. Two bids for Cesc Fabregas have been put up in recent weeks, with a much rumored third, and supposedly final, bid being lined up for him. Some say that he is more than willing to move to Manchester United while others argue that he is far too loyal to Arsenal to join United, and others say that Barcelona need him, especially after the departure of Thiago, so why let him go? Yet there must be a reason as to why David Moyes would go after such an unlikely transfer target. Nonetheless, if Fabregas were to join United, could he be the solution to Manchester United's midfield woes?

Performance from Last Season:

Cesc Fabregas has been very good at Barcelona this previous season, and there are key points which make him an appealing option for United. Over 32 league appearances in the previous season (2 as substitute), he had a passing completion rate of 88.6%. That would put him higher than Michael Carrick in Manchester United's current team and lower than Tom Cleverley, but this is where the difference comes into play. While Cleverley may only make 49 passes per game, Cesc Fabregas makes an average of 70.7 passes per game. Having such a high completion rate with these many passes puts him on par with Michael Carrick in the midfield; their ball retention abilities will prove crucial to Manchester United being able to dominate matches. Another key facet of Cesc's playing style is his ability to thread a killer pass. Over the past season with Barcelona, he made an average of 1.6 key passes per game, which would place him above Manchester United's current batch of midfielders. He also provided 11 goals and 11 assists, statistics that are slightly inflated due to the fact that he played several matches as a center forward. As a central midfielder, he scored 7 goals and set up 9 more, well above the output of his potential Manchester United counterparts. Defensively, he is okay, making an average of 1.4 tackles per game, 0.6 interceptions, and committing 1 foul a game. He is dispossessed 1.4 times a match and turns the ball over to the opposition about once a match. 

How Would He Fit In?

He would very likely slot in right next to Michael Carrick, partnering him in the midfield. If Rooney were to stay and Nani were to become first choice, a potential lineup could feature Rooney starting on the left, Kagawa playing through the middle, and Nani playing on the right wing (or Valencia or Zaha, insert who you feel is right). Carrick would be allowed to do what he does best: dictate the play from a deeper position in midfield. Fabregas would be allowed to push the ball forward and help out in attack, giving an additional creative presence to the already powerful front line. Kagawa, Rooney, and van Persie would all interchange with one another, leaving the opposition defenses either completely befuddled or non-existent out of fear of being humiliated. His passing numbers may have been slightly increased due to playing in a possession based system, but any form of drop-off will likely be very minimal. He is able to rival Carrick in playing the long passes, in completing the passes and in sheer number of passes, and beats him in the amount of key passes he creates. His tackling and interception stats show his defensive prowess, which may not be the best in the world, is not a step down from Cleverley at all. In fact, the defensive statistics are likely influenced by the fact that he has both played as a center forward for several matches, causing a decrease in his defensive influence, and by the fact that Barcelona simply hold onto the ball for so long, defensive statistics tend to go down.

The Key Problems:

At the age of 26, he in entering his prime years and will only get better, and with Carrick getting older, he can most certainly take over Carrick's role as a deep-lying playmaker thanks to his fantastic vision and passing skills. He is valued by to 40 million pounds, and while certainly not cheap, he is very much worth the investment. If he were to be signed, however, two key problems remain. What will happen to the likes of Powell who is arguably going to be replacing Carrick in the near future? Even then, this does not fully answer the question of the enforcer who can stamp his authority in matches. While both he and Carrick would be very effective at winning the ball back, the full physical presence in midfield will be missing and this could easily be exploited by the likes of Bayern Munich, similar to what happened to Barcelona's midfield in the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final, where the dominant presence of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez completely overwhelmed the Barcelona midfield. It would mean that an additional, enforcer-type player must be acquired by the team in order to prevent the midfield from being overrun like what happened to Barcelona in both legs of the Champions League Semi-Final.

The Ideal Signing Then?

To be frank, signing Cesc Fabregas would be one of the biggest coups pulled by Manchester United in the transfer market, bigger than when Robin van Persie was bought, simply because this transfer looks so unlikely. The fact of the matter is, he is absolutely worth the 40 million pounds that he is quoted for, because it would provide such a powerful creative presence in the midfield that the opposition defenses would be absolutely terrified of the attacking possibilities, helping United raise their game in European competition. The one fear is if United were to come up against physical, yet technically gifted opposition, the midfield would be overrun, and all that attacking prowess would be rendered useless. But then again, one must remember that David Moyes has to plan appropriately for each match and likely knows how to deal with this, but still, if Fabregas were to be signed, another presence would still be needed.

Likelihood: 5/10

Impact: 9/10

Manchester United's Midfield Conundrum

                 Ever since the departure of Roy Keane, Manchester United’s midfield has lacked a genuine, powerful presence to dominate the midfield in matches. The problem appeared to be solved when Owen Hargreaves arrived in 2007, helping United to win the Champions League in 2008. Key was his partnership with Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick or Darren Fletcher, allowing a front three of Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney, and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo to run riot and wreak havoc on opposition defenses with full freedom afforded to them. After that season, however, Hargreaves would go on to only make 4 more appearances for Manchester United in the three seasons afterwards due to constant injury troubles, weakening the midfield. These problems were only further compounded with the loss of Darren Fletcher from December 2011 onwards due to ulcerative colitis, though he does appear to be making a return. The question lies as to whether or not he will be the same player he was before injury struck him down, and even if he does reach his previous levels, Manchester United’s midfield is in a desperate need of reinforcements. First in a series of articles, we shall look into Manchester United’s current midfield options.

Michael Carrick:

            Bought in 2006, Michael Carrick has truly grown into a top-tier defensive midfielder. He runs the Manchester United engine room, essentially controlling the pace of the matches, playing the passes and keeping the midfield ticking. In 36 league appearances (2 as substitute), he has an average of 5.8 long balls per game, averaging 77.1 passes per game with 88.1% of his passes reaching their target, while having the ball stolen directly from him 0.8 times a match and having 0.4 turnovers a match. In addition to his fantastic ball retention abilities, he is solid defensively, completing 2.3 tackles per game, 2.1 interceptions, while only conceding 0.8 fouls per game. The one problem with Carrick is his lack of goals and assists. Despite all his passing abilities, he scored 1 goal in the league last season and had 4 assists, having 0.5 shots per game. This is likely a direct result of him playing a conservative role in midfield rather than being inept in forward areas. Another concern would be his age. Having just turned 32, Carrick has a few years left at the top level, aided by the fact that midfielders like him tend to last longer in the game, the best example being Andrea Pirlo whose legend just keeps on growing even at the age of 34. Key for Carrick in these coming years is the fact that his vision and passing abilities should remain intact, allowing him to orchestrate the attack from deep, while helping out in taking the ball back swiftly in order to allow Manchester United to attack.

Tom Cleverley:

            A Manchester United youth product, Tom Cleverley holds promise, but he is already 23, and it is time for him to step up. He is very neat and tidy in possession, and over his 22 league appearances (4 as substitute) in the past season 90.2% of his passes reached their intended target.  In addition, he completes an average of 3 accurate long balls per game, 0.2 dribbles per game, and 0.9 shots per game, resulting in 2 league goals and 2 assists in the past season. Defensively, he is decent, making 1.7 tackles per game, and 0.7 interceptions while giving in 0.8 fouls a game. He gets dispossessed 0.5 times a match and turns the ball over 0.6 times a match. While his statistics appear all fine, that is precisely the problem. It is just above average. The ball retention abilities are important to his game, and will prove integral to him keeping his place in the team. Both he and Carrick can hold onto the ball very well, and keep it moving throughout. While he may move up and down the pitch while Carrick holds his position in a deeper role, he needs to improve his abilities to drive the ball forwards. If he were to able to push the ball forwards instead of simply passing and moving, his game would be taken to another level. Additionally, he simply needs to get stuck in more. His tackling is fairly similar to Carrick but he makes drastically less interceptions than Carrick does, indicating that his positioning may be suspect. Against stronger teams, Cleverley’s weaknesses are only highlighted further, best seen in the FA Cup Quarter-Final against Chelsea at Old Trafford, where both he and Carrick were simply overrun in midfield upon the arrival of John-Obi Mikel who stamped his authority on the match, taking over midfield and giving Chelsea’s front four complete freedom to wreak havoc on the Manchester United defense. Overall, Cleverley has the technical ability, but he needs to be able to stamp his authority in a match, taking over and helping control the midfield.


            Bought in 2007 with a high level of promise, Anderson seemed set to take the world by storm. The highlight came with him scoring a penalty in the 2008 Champions League Final, helping United win the trophy. His career, however, has stalled since, with a combination of his weight problems, injury, and plain inconsistency has caused the once bright youth prospect to fail to reach his potential. Now 25, Anderson faces a make-or-break season with United, trying to cement his place in the squad. In his 17 appearances last season, 9 which he started, he averaged 37.8 passes a match, completing 86.4% of his passes. Furthermore, he made an average of 3.9 long balls per game, with 0.7 dribbles as well. He took an average of 0.6 shots per game resulting in 1 goal and 1 assist. He does have the ability to absolutely control matches as was seen upon his introduction against Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford, but more often than not, he is unable to hold a level of consistency. He is capable of playing Hollywood style passes as evinced by his long ball accuracy, but his overall passing abilities are a bit lacking, as he has the lowest passing percentage out of United’s top three midfielders. He also makes an average of 1.1 tackles per game, with 0.4 interceptions but conceding 0.5 fouls. This is once again the least out of United’s top three midfielders, and implies that he does not track back as much as he should. It could be marked down to his fitness but still, he needs to be more active defensively, especially considering the fact that he rarely completes the full 90 minutes in a match. Another problem is the amount of fouls he gives away despite his fairly low defensive output. In addition, he gets dispossessed 0.8 times per game, and gives the ball away 0.6 times per game. He does have the highest amount of dribbles per game in the United midfield, which is 0.7, but that only serves to highlight the fact that United’s midfield is in desperate need for someone who can carry the ball forwards and press the game. At his best, Anderson is world class, but his inconsistency is a problem, which is why he is unable to hold a first team place and is likely better off as a squad player. He is 25 now, and he must truly step up if he wants to keep his place in the squad, though it is very unlikely that he will become the answer to United’s midfield woes.

Phil Jones:

            Seen by many as a future England and Manchester United captain, Phil Jones has the strength to boss the center of defense, and his future is most certainly as a center-back, not a defensive midfielder. While his defensive statistics certainly hold up, with 1.6 tackles per game and 1.9 interceptions per game, his ball-retention abilities are not as good as they need to be for United to be able to hold up in Europe. He gives away 0.8 fouls per match, gets dispossessed 0.8 times a match, and turns the ball over 0.6 times a match. Furthermore, he only makes an average of 34.9 passes per game, with 85.3% of them reaching their intended target. He does have the ability to burst forward, but only makes 0.4 dribbles per game, and takes 0.6 shots per game, causing him to have 1 assist and no goals in the league in the past season. He certainly holds promise at the age of 21, but his future is most certainly at center-back, not in midfield as he simply lacks the ball-playing abilities possessed by Michael Carrick and other top tier midfielders in the world. He played 17 times in the league last season, with four substitute appearances, and while he can perform admirably in the midfield, he is simply meant to be a central defender.

Nick Powell:

            Holding massive promise at the tender age of just 19, Nick Powell is seen by many to be the future leader of the Manchester United midfield. The problem is that he is simply too young to be inserted straight into the first team and needs a couple of loan spells, most probably to other Premier League clubs, in order to develop effectively and fulfill his burgeoning potential. Over his two Champions League appearances last season, he made an average of 30 passes per game, 1.5 long balls, 0.5 dribbles, 2 shots, and 1 goal with no assists. His passing accuracy was fairly low at 81.7% but one must remember that he played in the cauldron that is the Turk Telecom Arena as well at Old Trafford, with the team having nothing to play for already having won the group. While not as solid as his teammates defensively, he needs playing time at another club in order to improve, and he will likely turn into a player similar to Michael Carrick, except with a shot like the one Paul Scholes used to have. He is most definitely one for the future, but not the answer to United’s current midfield problems.

What about Shinji Kagawa, Ryan Giggs, and Wayne Rooney?

            Shinji Kagawa definitely is a world class midfielder, except for the fact that he plays directly behind the striker. He is simply not strong enough to provide cover to the defense in the heart of midfield, while having the passing range and the vision. He will most likely go down the route that Paul Scholes has over his career; starting out behind the striker and slowly moving backwards and eventually controlling the midfield from a deep lying playmaker position. Kagawa possesses high footballing intelligence, allowing him to slip into gaps in the opposition defenses and exploit them; he has perfect close control, allowing him to glide past defenders and he has fantastic vision, allowing him to pick out perfect passes. At the age of 24, he will definitely continue to get better.
Ryan Giggs is on the opposite side of the coin, and at the young and sprightly age of 39, he has only a year or two left in his career. While it will be a shame to watch him go, he was never the answer to Manchester United’s midfield woes. He is able to play the passes but he does not have the defensive abilities needed in all top-tier midfields. At his age, he does not have the amount of stamina needed to last the whole match in such a demanding position, and he also does not have the authority that certain midfielders possess to stamp their presence on the match. Even if he had these abilities, he is unlikely to stay much longer is and is not a long term solution for this problem.
Wayne Rooney does have the potential to play in the midfield but the question remains as to whether or not he can actually fully perform there. While he can most definitely play the Hollywood passes, he needs to improve his overall pass accuracy, which is currently at 82.9%, not good enough for a central midfielder. He does have boundless energy and can certainly keep the game going; he needs to improve his ball retention abilities if he is to be a long term solution in midfield. But then again, the question remains as to whether or not he will be at United in the next season.

Who Then?

            The ideal midfielder for Manchester United needs to be mobile and be able to force the issue when needed. He needs to be able to take the ball back and hold onto it well, but be able to push forward and make the opposition midfield make mistakes. Basically, high levels of passing, and very good defensive skills, providing the perfect partner to Carrick by shuttling back and forth, up and down the field, while Carrick holds his position and keeps the midfield ticking. Throughout this series, we will look into reported midfield targets for Manchester United and determine who will be the best to sign in order to solve our current midfield woes.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

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