Is An Attacking Midfield The Missing Piece To The Man United Puzzle?

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Sir Alex Ferguson has already signaled his intent to the rest of the Premier League and world soccer, snatching up Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea for around £60 million. Sir Alex Ferguson and United are surely not resting on their laurels. They’re improving their squad that won the record-breaking 19th Premier League title as well as finished runners up in the Champions League. Even with these major additions, are United still missing a final piece?

Looking at the United roster, they seem to have a void at the attacking midfield spot in their line-up. Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher are both serviceable center midfielders, but both don’t really add that attacking flair. Ryan Giggs is another option, but with his now well known off-the-field issues and his somehow to this point age-defying performances, he is bound to slow down and can’t be called upon to play the required games to be a fixture in the starting 11. There is also Anderson patrolling the United midfield, but he seems more of a rugged, defensive minded player to me, even with his Brazilian heritage.

One option that United can continue to explore is keeping Wayne Rooney in the hole behind Chicharito, which worked throughout the title-winning campaign. Although, Rooney can play there I think his best position is slightly higher up the pitch allowing him to focus on banging goals in rather then setting them up.

Another option is using new signee Ashley Young as an attacking midfielder. He has played there in the past, but there is no doubt his best position is on the wings and is most certainly what he was brought to Man United to do. Also lining up on the opposite side of Nani or Valencia will torment Premier League fullbacks due to their pace. Keeping Young on the wings allows him to play an even more vital role in the more direct, quick counter-attacking game that United have become so adept at.

That leaves the option that Man United need to purchase an attacking midfielder and Ferguson seems to agree with this. His reported pursuit of Samir Nasri and previous links with Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder show Sir Alex is hot on the trail of another attacking option.

By adding a player in this position it could really take some of the pressure off Wayne Rooney, who has been playing in deeper positions. Also, adding an attacking midfield can relieve some of the goal-scoring burden off the forward triumvirate of Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and this past season’s biggest surprise — Javier Hernandez.

An addition of an attacking midfielder may benefit United more in the Champions League than the Premier League. Manchester United could potentially face-off with Barcelona at some point in next year’s competition. It is no secret that United’s midfield was no match for Barca’s, which Barca has done to so many teams before the final. With an attacking mid, United could have another player to help hold on to the ball if they have a rematch at some point. Also it would allow a link with Rooney rather then him having to play so deep.

Although, they are the defending champions and have already improved with recent signings, Manchester United still need the final piece to the puzzle in an attack minded midfielder.

Do you think a signing in this role is required for United’s push to repeat? Could it be the signing that brings them back to Champions League glory? Have your say in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Is An Attacking Midfield The Missing Piece To The Man United Puzzle?”

  1. I would like to see 4-3-3 (Fletcher, Carrick/Nasri, Rooney then Young, Hernandez/Berbatov, Nani/Valencia). This can very easily transform from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 and then to 4-3-3 as the game progresses with attacking options all over the field… a real nightmare for any midfield or defence to handle (even Barcelona).

  2. Since Keane left there is nobody in the middle of the park shouting orders and geeing up the team. The only person I see capable of this is Rooney, but he must play in midfield (not attack). Keane himself was no stranger to scoring goals… and Rooney could easily emulate this (once his ego settles down and he comes to terms with not being a traditional goalscoring forward any more).

  3. yeah i would fit right in at manchester united
    i also think sanchez would be an amazing signing for my soon to be club

  4. United’s only 2 players that can honestly “hold a ball” are Nani and Berbatov. The rest try and pass it as soon as they are challenged (or lose it). This is the main strength of Barcelona. They have 3 or 4 players that can “hold it” all day. You cannot dictate a game unless you have “somebody” on your side that can hold a ball to some extent. In the past we had Scholes, and to some extent Giggs. The future beckons!

  5. Yes United Are Lacking a Attacking Midfielder
    But United Can Still Go Without CAM Having Great Signings Like Jones And Young.Young Obviously On Left Flank and I Think Jones Should Be Played in Defensive Midfield Role As No place For Him Until Deadly PAir Of Rio n Vidic is Present
    With that atleast We Will Be Strong In Defence
    I Think Snejder Will Be Best Choice
    Because United Dont Want To Be Arsenal that hav full Youth, a Group of Experience is Must

  6. An attacking midfielder is exactly what Man Utd need so badly. Fletch and Carrick are just not good enough same goes for Anderson. Time to bring in Pogba and buy Sweinsteiger to boost Man Utd

  7. Fletcher is good workhorse around the midfield… like Park… and Carrick was supposed to be the ball player… but he struggles. Forget about Anderson (he’s a legend in his own mind). We need someone in the middle that can dictate a game (like Keane used to). Rooney is the only player capable of getting up the rest of the team. If United don’t sell Berbatov (which I hope they don’t) then we have too many forwards (Rooney, Young, Nani, Valencia, Berbatov). Bring Rooney into the middle as a “rover” and it’s a different game altogether… plus he has the energy to do it. I think Sneider is too old. Nasri would be good, but he’s a soft player (not gutsy enough).

  8. There is a lot of talk around Nasri and Sneijder but let’s face it:

    1) Arsenal will likely not sell to United. City can entice with better wages and besides, they are are also in the hunt for an attacking midfielder; they would prefer to buy locally-tested talent.

    2) Sneijder is going to hit our monthly wage budget.. hard. I honestly do not believe he commands a £200k weekly salary (honestly, nobody does).

    Whatever happened to revisiting non conventional buys? We did it with Chicharito, which was the deal of the season, across all leagues.. without a doubt.

    There are many more like him out there. We have well-paid scouts who are on the prowl for talent that is eager to learn, adapt and become moulded into the Manchester United fabric. Lets go after the (relatively) unknowns of the world, searching across leagues in Latin America, North America and African nations etc.

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