It’s no secret that Manchester United lack depth across the pitch. While the club has finally begun taking the long overdue steps towards bolstering the back line — adding Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, and locking down Luke Shaw, David De Gea, and Victor Lindelöf on long term deals — the midfield has been sorely neglected.
The club sold defensive midfielder Marouane Fellaini in January and saw one of his counterparts, Ander Herrera, walk away this summer, without signing a replacement for either player. In turn, Scott McTominay has been the main beneficiary, seizing the opportunity to fill in their shoes with his improved performances this season, while Fred has looked sharp in his recent cameos. Nemanja Matic offers an experienced option, and Axel Tuanzebe is also capable of playing in an auxiliary holding role if necessary.
Attacking midfield, however, is a completely different story: United didn’t lose anyone in that position, but they didn’t really have anyone either. Jesse Lingard has been the first choice to spearhead a midfield triangle, but the Mancunian has had a dismal extended run of form, failing to register a goal or assist since December, 2018. Lingard’s performances, and United’s subsequent struggle to score goals, has seen the club linked with a host of players, headlined by Bruno Fernandes and most recently James Maddison.