Although Manchester United cruised to their twentieth Premier League title last season, they were far from a perfect side. Inconsistent wingers, coupled with a lack of options in center midfield, weakened a team that boasted one of the most deadly attacking trios in United’s history.
While players such as Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia should rebound this coming season, given the chance of course, the center of the park will still be a problem for Manchester United if they fail to strengthen this summer. In new boss David Moyes though, there is a hope that this growing crisis will finally be addressed. A big name signing or two would help him prove to any doubters that he is up to the task of managing the biggest club in the world. The truth is, though, that very few players meet the standards of Manchester United and David Moyes will have his work cut out for him trying to find the perfect option.
So, realistically, which center midfielders should Manchester United target to improve the weakest area in the team?
Here are 6 potential candidates (in no specific order):
1. Claudio Marchisio
The Italian’s great technique, vision and eye for goal have helped establish him among the best in the world at his position. The heart and soul of the Juventus team, not only does Marchisio offer an attacking option, but he can also get back and help break up opposing attacks due to his high work rate. Recently, he has even welcomed links with the Premier League champions, and now would be the perfect time for Manchester United to make a move. Marchisio would make a good partner for Michael Carrick, and also offer them another deadly option in front of goal, something they have been lacking from the midfield for quite a while now.
2. Thiago Alcantara
Manchester United were close to acquiring Thiago in 2011, but the Spain Under-21 captain elected to stay at Barcelona. This summer may prove to be different though, as the offer of constant first team football may be enough to pull him away. Thiago’s natural vision and technique are what makes him one of the best young talents in the game, and his impressive showing in the European Under-21 championships put these qualities on display. If he continues on the path he is on now, there is no reason not to believe Manchester United would be getting a top quality central midfielder.