Robbie Savage believes that there are two areas Manchester United should prioritise this summer.
While some are convinced that Man United are destined to bring in a new centre-half when the transfer window reopens, Robbie Savage believes that the Red Devils should look elsewhere.
According to Savage, United need to break the bank to sign Erling Haaland as their long-term solution to the club’s centre-forward problem.
Savage, who came through the Class of ’92 but never made an appearance for United, has also urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to find a player in the same vein as Paul Scholes.
“The other missing piece in the jigsaw at Old Trafford is a deep-lying No. 6 who can pick the lock and dictate the game, like Paul Scholes or Michael Carrick once did, when opponents sit in and leave no space,” Savage wrote in his Mirror column.
United’s best midfield has caused plenty of debate this season and questions have been raised about Solskjaer’s apparent insistence on playing two holding midfielders in big games.
With the resurgent Paul Pogba’s future still up in the air and question marks over why Donny van de Beek was brought in, Savage explained why United desperately need a reliable No. 6.
“Too often they were unable to break down Milan, and gave the ball away cheaply, when United were crying out for a No.6 to thread passes through the eye of a needle,” Savage continued.
“In big games this season, United have looked secure at the back. Clean sheets at the Etihad, Anfield, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates suggest they are defensively sound.
“But breaking teams down has been a different story – not just the big guns but the likes of Crystal Palace have frustrated Solskjaer.
“Perhaps Paul Pogba is capable of fulfilling that No.6 role – even though United paid £40m for Donny van de Beek last summer – but is he disciplined enough to sit deep and spray passes around the park like Scholes did?
“Thiago did it for Bayern Munich, Kevin de Bruyne can do that job for City, Frenkie de Jong does it for Barcelona. United are like a Rolls Royce missing only one part – the steering wheel.
“When teams sit deep, leaving no space for Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood or Anthony Martial to run in behind, they struggle to score.
“Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation at No. 10 but when he drops deeper he is less influential and he doesn’t hurt opposition defences as much.
“A No. 6 alongside Scott McTominay – whose energy and leadership has been a revelation – is a top priority now for Solskjaer.”