By Adam Whitehurst.
If you are a supporter of Manchester United you will have no doubt at some point, throughout this season bemoaned the lack of midfield creativity or on the other end of the scale the lack of a solid midfield ball winner. We fans have spent previous summers watching David Silva, Juan Mata, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri move through the transfer market and despite strong rumoured interest in Wesley Sneijder our midfield void still remains unfilled. The question appears to be, does Sir Alex actually believe the midfield is in a strong enough position to not require any reinforcement? Or does he know the midfield area is underperforming, but his hands are financially tied by the Glazer regime? Either way it looks like we need midfield support from within.
Michael Carrick’s return to top form has been a highlight of recent weeks. He has long since been a scapegoat for any poor United performances, but since coming back from injury he has excelled and arguably has been United’s most consistent player of the season so far. If Carrick can continue and fully rediscover the form of the 2006-08 period he will be a real asset to the all important midfield area. Without Tom Cleverley or Anderson; Sir Alex has Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs or possibly Darron Gibson at his disposal, however in recent games it appears to be young Phil Jones who has stepped up to the centre midfield mark. Jones has had an incredible start to his Man United career. He possesses the energy to cover the field plus the defensive capabilities to allow Carrick a much freer creative role that has seen him blossom. Not to mention when Jones strides forward fans and journalists alike go all dreamy and nostalgic with thoughts of yesteryear and the great Duncan Edwards. If Carrick and Jones can work together their partnership could become a permanent fixture, though I believe many will want Jones to return to his more accustomed centre back role.
The other option, the one that the majority of United fans have been crying out for, is obviously to make one or two new signings. Several young and talented names have been touted and linked with ‘potential interest’ from United. The aforementioned Sneijder, Mario Götze, Javi Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Cheick Tioté have all been loudly proclaimed as potential saviours of the much talked about midfield area. Having seen bits and pieces of all of this ‘shortlist’ I would tend to lean towards Martinez or Eriksen as despite their talent they have a battling quality, which is always required to be a great United midfielder. What about our own young talent? We all know about Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba, but are they ready to make the step up? Judging from their first team experience this season the pair are perhaps not quite ready, at least not ready to feature on a regular basis or indeed start matches. Of the two Morrison is nearer to the first team and he could find himself utilised as an impact sub later in the season, especially if he is allowed the opportunity to excel in the Europa League.
One thing is for sure about our midfield dilemma is that Sir Alex should not be doubted. If the great man feels the need to recruit he will and if he doesn’t then we have to trust in his decision. Surely Fergie should not be doubted? Come May I firmly believe he will be smiling as he adds another medal to his bulging trophy cabinet, which by now must surely resemble his own personal Fort Knox.
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