Manchester United have spent a staggering amount of money over recent years but the midfield is still a problem area in the team. Solskjaer has opted to play both Fred and McTominay in front of the back four but neither are natural defensive midfielders. Nemanja Matić is the obvious choice but with him pushing 34 the Serbian is used more sparingly nowadays.
The partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay has served United well, especially in the big games. But there’s now a feeling that persisting to play both is holding United back. The fans are becoming increasingly frustrated at Solskjaer’s persistence to play both Fred and McTominay, especially at home. Fans are crying out for the Manchester United manager to be more adventurous and play with just one rather than both.
United were linked to an array of defensive midfielder’s in the summer but failed to land any of their targets. Declan Rice appeared to be their first choice but various reports suggested that West Ham wanted between £80 – £100 million for the England international. This is a fee that United were unwilling to meet.
The last few weeks have seen United linked with Ivory Coast international Franck Kessié. The 24 year old started his career at Atalanta where he signed a three-year contract in January 2015. He made just seven appearances before being loaned out to Serie B side Cesena. After returning from loan Kessié found himself in the first team for the 16/17 season. His contributions caught the eye of A.C Milan. He went on to sign two year loan deal with the Italian giants with an obligation to buy. He would eventually sign on a permanent basis in July 2019 for a fee of £21.6 million.
United have already seen Kessié up close and personal after meeting with A.C Milan in last seasons Europa League. The Ivorian put on a fine display at Old Trafford running the midfield for large parts of the game. He also had a goal ruled out for offside after the ball had caught his hand in the build up. Kessié is a key player for Milan in more ways than one. Whether it’s breaking up play or driving forward he’s vital to the way Milan want to play. His reading of the game is excellent and his fitness levels are through the roof. His durability is something that would serve him well in any league but especially the Premier League.
Franck Kessié’s contract with A.C Milan expires in June 2022. With the Italian club unwilling to meet his demands they are open to listening to offers in January. Will United make a move in January or will they wait for his contract to run down? On the playing side of things It would be in United’s best interests to make a move in January. Financially it would be better to wait for Kessié’s contract to run down. But this would be a risk as we’d see more teams from around Europe try to acquire the Ivorian’s signature.