Manchester United are preparing for a huge summer transfer window once again despite spending £145 million last season as they have not been able to crack the code to reach the top four.
Paul Pogba – United’s premier signing last summer – has failed to perform consistently with his huge price tag always coming in every discussion concerning the Frenchman. A robust physical defensive midfielder might unlock Pogba’s talents has been the general feel around Old Trafford.
In recent weeks, the Red Devils have been linked with Paris Saint-Germain’s Blaise Matuidi with Jose Mourinho keen to unite Matuidi with his national teammate Paul Pogba. The club officials feel the 29-year old midfielder can help Pogba to play like his Juventus days.
Matuidi’s contract expires next summer but he rejected an extension in October last year which makes sure of his intentions to leave the Ligue 1 giants. PSG must sell him now to get some returns on him with Manchester United ready to pay nearly £80 million to secure his services.
Matuidi has made 48 appearances for club and country this season and has scored seven goals for the Parisians.
He is a good passer of the ball and likes to keep it easy for his side which is reflected by his high percentage of 90.7. His 1.8 tackles per each league game this season is a commendable statistic. (Courtesy: Whoscored)
What will he offer?
At Juventus, Pogba performed at his best whenever he had the defensive cover of Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo. It gave him the freedom to surge ahead without worrying much about the defending part.
He received a jolt when he arrived in the Premier League for his second stint as he could not cope up with the physicality and the demands in England. During the early months of the league when United were struggling for wins, Pogba played in a midfield two and fared miserably.
Mourinho rectified his mistakes by playing Michael Carrick or Marouane Fellaini which helped Herrera and Pogba to do well. Carrick has been brilliant but is out of contract soon along with Fellaini who is likely to be offloaded.
With Matuidi’s arrival, his compatriot will receive the license to stay ahead and play in his favoured attacking midfield role. He does best when he is allowed time on the ball which has not been the case for the majority of the season.
Worth the money?
Though Matuidi’s asking price is pretty high, he is currently the best bet to unlock Pogba’s bundles of potential. The 29-year-old still has few years left in his bank to offer and like his idol, Claude Makelele, he is a really good player in his position.
A midfield comprising of Matuidi, Pogba and Herrera can be one of the best in the league and help United for challenging for the league title.
A player once called a tightrope walker, Matuidi has come a long way and has established himself as one of the most sought after midfielders of recent times.