Manchester United have been unable to control midfield games for much of this season. It stems from the club’s inability to secure a defensive midfielder’s signature this summer, but Ralf Rangnick could be allowed to rectify that in the mid-season transfer window.
Several midfielders have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, including Amadou Haidara of former Rangnick club RB Leipzig and Boubacar Kamara of Marseille, whose contract expires this summer.
Another name that can now be added to the list is that of Denis Zakaria of Borussia Mönchengladbach, who has also reportedly caught the attention of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as well as United and Liverpool.
Like Kamara, the 25-year-old midfielder is out of contract this summer and could therefore be available for just £ 6million as his club seek some sort of pay for a player who is seen as one of its best assets.
With United in need of reinforcements in the center of the park, Zakaria could be a cheap option to add another pair of legs to the squad, meaning Rangnick can keep spinning, but when you look at the set, he doesn’t. Maybe not what United need to be successful in the long run.
Despite his early promises, a serious knee injury that kept him from playing 21 games in the 2019/20 season apparently derailed his development and kept him from realizing his potential.
But other than that, he’s not the type of player United should be aiming for.
Rangnick currently has Fred and Scott McTominay in central midfield. Both are good at carrying the ball and squeezing opposition, which means they’re better suited to be the positive in the pivot. Zakaria is of a similar mold.
He likes to carry the ball forward and get into the opponent’s half of the pitch, but as we’ve seen so far this season, when United have two players that do, it leaves them susceptible to be hit on the meter.
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The main complaint many United fans have had about the McFred partnership is the pair’s weakness when it comes to passing the ball forward and also their defensive positioning.
Fred has always been called out by United fans for this, but other than maybe Nemanja Matic, United don’t have a player on their squad who fits the role.
Kamara is younger than Zakaria and is a better passer, so if United are to target a player in January, it should be the French.
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