After Manchester United’s relentless pursuit of Frenkie de Jong ended with a whimper, they have now identified Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot as their next target. The talk has gained momentum after the opening day clash, where they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Graham Potter’s Brighton.
The duo of Fred and Scott McTominay was comprehensively outclassed in the midfield. While McTominay looked clueless with the ball, always looking to make a senseless run into the opponents, Fred too failed to assert his authority and lost the ball on numerous occasions. Their disastrous performance in the first game forced the United hierarchy to immediately overhaul their midfield when the season has already started.
They have turned towards Adrien Rabiot, who is not even a regular starter at his present club Juventus, as the remedy. Many are not pleased with the club’s interest in Rabiot, as his performances in Italy have left a lot to be desired. At best, the French international can be a good option to increase the bench strength, but expecting a struggling player to overhaul the shaky midfield is perhaps too much.
Here’s a list of five players Manchester United should target instead of Rabiot this season:
Manchester United has been chasing Declan Rice for two seasons, but is not willing to burn enough cash. Rice has emerged as one of the most consistent and complete midfielders, attracting interest from numerous clubs. If United wants to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool again, they’ll need to break off from their parsimonious budget and sign Rice.
Guido Rodriguez, who currently plays for the Spanish side Real Betis, is a promising option that won’t cost them even half of Rice’s amount. Moreover, Rodriguez seems to be the defensively robust and well-rounded player who outsmarted Rabiot on most parameters, including the tackling percentage per game, which is the latter’s biggest strength.
In Youri Tielemans, Manchester United can get a versatile midfielder who is not only very potent in front of the goal, but can also score long-rangers quite often. Last season, he was also among the top-five players to create the most number of chances. To acquire Tielemans, the United will be facing stiff competition from Arsenal. It was reported that Leicester City has set his transfer fee around £25 million.
N’Golo Kante has fallen out of favour for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. With Jorginho, Kovacic, and Kai Havertz already in the side, Kante is unlikely to get regular gametime this season. Kante’s form has been on the wane in the past two seasons, but his expertise and defensive solidity will immediately improve Manchester United’s midfield.
Still 25, Ruben Neves has already made over 200 appearances for the Wolves. He was among the top ten players in terms of through-balls attempted, possession won in the final third, and goals scored from outside the box. Manchester United will have to pay in excess of £60m.
Lead Image: Adrien Rabiot/Instagram