Date: 5th June 2011 at 3:00pm
Written by:

Since my last post, it has come to public attention (via the medium of Twitter!) that United have sat down with Independiente to agree a deal for an attacking midfielder called Patricio ‘Patito’ Rodriguez.

A skilful, livewire who can conjure something out of nothing, Rodriguez will be available at around £8.9 million (€10 million). As an investment for the future, it looks like we have pulled another one out the bag but I do not think that this signing will affect the other big signings Sir Alex was talking about with two probably being in my previous post.

As stated in my previous post United appear to have tied up at most 3 signings (excluding Patito) but it means that Manchester United still need to improve in the area where we have been weakest this season, the center of midfield.

Away from home, we won the same amount of games as the relegated Blackpool and the 19th title arguably came because of our exceptional home form. Upon facing a team in the ‘Top 6’ away from Old Trafford we have 2 points from 15 available to show for it, with draws against Tottenham and Man City.

Whilst there were a plethora of reasons as to why we only managed to secure 2 points, I think we can look at the midfield especially being one of the main factors so that is where I will focus.

Luka Modric

Since his introduction into the Premier League for £16.5 million, Luka Modric has steadily grown into one of Spurs most coveted treasures. Considered to slight his adaptation to the English game has been phenomenal. This season he was voted the Fans’ Player of the Year, even though most critics were to busy praising Gareth Bale or Rafael van der Vaart.

His incredible technical ability, comfortability on the ball, playmaking prowess and trickery has United fans calling for representatives to thrash a deal for him. As seen under Ramos, he can do a job alongside a player who will sit and allow him to roam into spaces where he will be difficult to pick up.

Especially since his return from a broken leg late in 2009, the physical side of his game has improved greatly. His quality is very evident on the ball but will we have to change our shape to fit him in?

The 4-4-2 we play at the moment, is easily like a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 which means that even if we stuck with a 4-4-2, he can still be used as United have a notable fluidity in changing in formation.

A possible stumbling block in any attempt to sign Modric, is the what is called the ‘Levy Tax’. Manchester United have taken Carrick & Berbatov from Tottenham and it is more than evident with every transfer that Daniel Levy doesn’t like to sell to United without getting top dollar so it is a possibility that we will have to pay over the odds to get Modric in the Red shirt of United.

But a promising factor, is that the only other club which seems to be in for him is Chelsea, who are arch-rivals to Tottenham. So if it came down to it who would Levy rather sell to: United – Tottenham’s ‘parent club’ or Chelsea – their city rivals?

Wesley Sneijder

Having shown he was capable previously 2009/2010 was the season that Wesley Sneijder finally came to the fore front in terms of the world’s best players.

Sneijder formed part of the Ajax side that included the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael van der Vaart and these young stars looked set to take the world by storm. All have experienced varying degrees of success but Sneijder particularly only began to received his due plaudits last season as he played an integral role in Inter Milan’s treble.

However, since the Special One left for sunny Madrid, his performances haven’t garnered the same amount of praise they once did but according to the papers he is still high on the Sir Alex’s list of transfer targets.

Coming from Ajax’s esteemed academy as expected his technical ability is brilliant. He possess a fearsome shot, his passing range is excellent and is proficient with both feet having recently gone on record to say he doesn’t know which foot is stronger out of his left or right.

No doubt, Sneijder is quality but I don’t see his signing as a replacement for the retired Ginger Prince, Paul Scholes.

Sneijder does possess the ability to play in the deep-lying playmaker role but at risk of cutting out a vital part of his game where he schemes in front of the opposition defence.

Sneijder operates best as an attacking midfielder in the hole as such, a role that Rooney came to life in, in the later part of this season. So how will it impact the team? Will Rooney be pushed back up top and Hernandez dropped to the bench after a stellar first season? I doubt it.

If I was to choose on the basis of what was just discussed, I would choose Luka Modric because he will give us a different dimension to what we have now. Snejider is a great player but he would operate best in a three man midfield which doesn’t look like the way forward for United right now.

This piece is the second of a series taken from new United blog ‘Expertise On United


28 responses to “A look at United’s midfield solutions this summer”

  1. saeed says:

    Anderson was touted as one of the best young players,given Golden Boy Award as the best under 21 player in Europe in 2008,others who have got this award was Rooney,Messi,Fabregas,Pato, so hes in good company.He is an attacking midfielder,but have been used as a defensive midfielder.He is not a box to box player,he doesnt have the stamina,fitness or desire even when SAF openly told him to run more during a recent match.Anderson didnt and was subbed.
    He has ability but I think hes too lazy and overweight,doesnt want to track back like other MU players. I dont know why he was given a new contract, obviously SAF sees something in him.Lets hope its not a another Jemba Jemba, Veron etc etc

    • He isn’t a central midfielder. He is obviously a attacking midfielder but the way he plays makes him look like a doggy midfielder who track up and down the field and can play the ball that splits the defence. Anderson is a great player in the making but it is just that he isn’t being used properly. That’s all.

    • jose says:

      I think Ando is great in the Defensive Midfield area, he’s strong and good at breaking up play. He has started getting goals now too, so hopefully that continues to improve. I think he will be an important player for us this season.

  2. Saeed says:

    I did say he was an attacking mid fielder who has been played defensively.
    To me when he plays defensive he looks lost. Hes clearly overweight and enjoys the night life.He doesn’t have the engine of Fletcher,Park,Giggs,Rooney etc or the desire to track back.
    Hes scored goals when he was allowed to roam forward,again,my opinion,he’s not consistent,one good game three average games where he goes missing.But again, SAF has given him a new contract,so SAF must see and know something.

  3. sean says:

    he is right united needs a contrao to back up evra..i mean its seems lotta fans dont see evra is not good. who can show me his stats this season? whats is the accuracy of his crossing per average? how many assist? how many goals? now compare that to cashley coles or bains to a certain extent you’ll see that pat is reali not the “it”………….to all those who are calling for united to buy 3 or 4 central midfield can u define their roles please cos am getting confused by what u are posting

    • I understand your concern over the left-back position. It was sorted before Gary Neville retired and Fabio began to play on the right. If not for these events, we really wouldn’t be talking about it now. And if I wanted a left-back, I think that we should raid Tottenham and that would be for Bale. I know many will say that his defensive qualities are lacking but you have to look at the facts that when you are a defender, you have to learn. There are very few defenders who defend as if they have been playing their for years. Those are special. The rest of them have to learn and that’s what Man United should see and capitalise on it as Bale price has dropped dramatically since the Champions League group stages.

  4. DrilyG says:

    What we need is Modric & Charlie Adam. Also, Young is an exceptional buy as he or nani can come in the in the last minutes of a game and completely change it with pace and ability.

    Give Adam the defensive role, we all know he can pass the ball and his tackles arent bad. With fletcher as cover, we’ll be fine in the midfield area

  5. Saeed says:

    From what I understand Adam believes hes a white Pele.Personally I don’t see him performing week in,week out at the levels required at MU. Many players have come with high expectations and found wanting, dissolved into the background.
    I think the reason why there is some much call for new midfield players of all types is because there is something clearly wrong.
    MU away form this season was on par with BLACKPOOL!!!
    I don’t agree with trying to get Bale, firstly he is injury prone,also he cost far too much to an incomplete player. He had a good spell of a few months when everyone was talking him up. Then where has he disappeared to?
    Rumors about Nasri, obviously a class player.I think hes a mercenary looking for the biggest pay cheque. Hes not interested in joining MU,but using it to gain leverage for a better deal,maybe not at Arsenal,but elsewhere.This has been done many times before by others.