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Why Manchester United Should Make a Move for This £30Million Brighton Midfielder in January

Yves Bissouma

Every Manchester United fan will agree that the one position that their squad lacks in right now is a defensive midfielder. The Red Devils had strong links with Declan Rice in the summer, but nothing materialised due to West Ham’s mammoth asking price. Now, Brighton’s Yves Bissouma could be the solution for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Yves Bissouma, Bissouma linked to Manchester United
Image Obtained via Pain in the Arsenal

With the high profile transfers of Sancho and Varane and the return of Ronaldo, fans had hoped for the club to challenge for the Premier League this season. This may still be possible as the season progresses, but right now things are wide off the mark.

United’s current league form is disastrous, to say the least. A 1-1 draw at home against Everton, 4-2 loss at Leicester and two home defeats against their biggest rivals, Liverpool (5-0) and Manchester City (2-0). Pathetic. The only consolation came against Tottenham, a 3-0 win. And these tragic performances are largely due to Ole’s tactics and choice of players.

Fans and critics have long questioned Ole’s choice of midfield, playing the duo of Fred and Scott McTominay. Except for the Leicester game, the Norwegian boss started the McFred duo in all the above games. The duo’s weakness while transitioning from defence to attack was clearly visible. Both players failed to make important tackles against the opponents and left large gaps in the middle of the pitch, giving the opposition enough space to exploit.

After the draw against Everton, former United star Owen Hargreaves said Sir Alex Ferguson would have certainly dropped Fred after the kind of mistakes he made. He told Premier League Productions:

“It can’t happen. Sir Alex wouldn’t forgive you for that, you wouldn’t have played for a month, seriously.”

“He has to win those tackles. And if he loses it, you foul him, you bring him down.”

“You’ve got to win that. You cannot get bumped off the ball by Demarai Gray and if he does, you foul him.”

“United don’t have control of games, it’s their corner, how can a goal like that happen?”

“I know Harry Maguire is missing and they miss his leadership but if you’re going to play two defensive midfielders in there – McTominay and Fred – that goal can’t happen.”

Starting both Fred and McTominay, who are poor defensively, has always led to problems for the team. McTominay averages just 1.3 interceptions and 1.2 tackles per game, while Fred is worse, at 0.7 interceptions and 2.2 tackles. They also slow down the tempo of the whole team, taking too many touches on the ball.

Matic has been technically good this season, but he cannot start every game. Pogba is unable to play his natural game without cover from a defensive midfielder. And there seems to be no respite from Donny van de Beek’s exile, having played just 16 minutes in the Premier League this season in 2 games.

Solskjaer needs to find a way to improve his midfield performances and fast if he wants to mount a challenge for the Premier League title. The transfer market does not open until January and the manager has to find a solution with whatever resources are available at his disposal.

What Solskjaer needs is a ball-playing defensive midfielder, who can act as the midfield pivot as well as make transitions between defence and attack easier. Also, being a defensive midfielder, the player should fulfil the obvious defensive duties as well, shielding the backline and making the necessary tackles and interceptions.

According to a report from Manchester Evening News, one player that the club could and should target during the winter transfer window is Brighton’s Yves Bissouma. The Mali international has been very impressive this season, with a price tag of around £30million. His stats for the Seagulls prove how influential he has been for his team and how he could prove to be a game-changer for Ole’s side.

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The 25-year-old midfielder has so far made 7 league appearances this season, with an average of 3.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game and displaying a 70% success rate of winning his tackles, better than any current United midfielder. The Brighton midfielder also likes to pass the ball around the 18-yard box and maintain a high tempo game.

Currently, no major sources are indicating United making moves for Yves Bissouma. However, if the Glazers do decide to sign the midfielder, Brighton would not let their star midfielder leave so easily in January, but it would lessen Solskjaer’s worries to a certain degree.

Do you think Yves Bissouma is a suitable addition to United’s squad? Give your opinions in the comment section below.

Follow AD for all the latest Manchester United news.

Abir Chaudhuri
A football fan who loves to write about the game.

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