Manchester United’s latest signing Donny van de Beek has added to the depth of the Red Devils’ squad. But with seasons set to begin next week, question still remains – What will be the best three-man midfield setup for Manchester United this season? Keep reading as we break down the current midfield problems and state how midfield can be setup effectively.
Starting with deficiencies in Manchester United midfield, the primary concern was depth. An injury to Bruno Fernandes or Paul Pogba last season would’ve limited Red Devils’ creative output and allowed the opposition to sit back and wait for perfect counter attack opportunity. This concern has fortunately been fixed with the arrival of Donny van de Beek, who likes to play #10, and makes clever runs into box to get goals.
Another aspect of midfield that causes problems to us is defensive midfield position. Nemanja Matic has been the anchor of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, and his presence has always stopped opposition from transitioning into the final third. A key stat that displays Matic’s importance is the defensive record of team in his presence and absence. Matic’s presence significantly improves defence, highlighting that if nothing else, we need a proper defensive midfielder to be a part of line-up for all big games.
Taking both the above factors into account, here are the viable midfield setups Manchester United can implement –
Probably the best starting midfield among all the choices available. Matic holds the anchor, Pogba creates from deep, and Fernandes goes all-out attack as United play in a 4-2-3-1 setup. This system provides stability, creativity, and goal-scoring all at once. I reckon that this will be gaffer’s preferred line-up for all important league games and Champions League games throughout the season.
The second-choice midfield that we might witness when we’ll rest Fernandes but still be in need of goals, clever flicks, and runs in box. Donny van de Beek has an excellent off the ball movement and might turn out to be an instrumental goal-scoring midfielder in Portuguese’s absence. When going with this line-up, we can expect United to play in a 4-3-3 setup with Matic being the holding midfielder, and Pogba and van de Beek donning central midfield positions.
This midfield setup can be expected for less important matches, or matches where we need just a little bit of creativity to get past opposition’s low block. A double-pivot of Fred – McTominay will protect the defence, while the lone creative midfielder will drive the attack of the team. In case one of the Fred/McTominay gets injured or team needs a goal-scoring threat, van de Beek can come off the bench and change the dynamics of game.
All the above mentioned formations are the ideal picks gaffer might go with depending on the intensity of matches. And with a versatile midfielder like van de Beek added to the ranks, we can expect many more variations according to the situations, and that is what makes Manchester United midfield arguably one of the best in the league this season. Only concern will be the lack of a strong Defensive Midfielder in case Matic gets injured, and therefore, it’s high time United start their hunt for one to fill in Matic’s boots.