Whereas having an undefeated begin to his managerial tenure at Manchester United, Ralf Ragnick has a formidable activity forward at Outdated Trafford. The German has to mould a proficient but considerably unbalanced squad right into a cohesive unit that may execute his intense, vertical, high-pressing model of play in a comparatively brief area of time.
Among the many most troublesome areas of the group Ragnick has already encountered issues with is his midfield pivot. In Ragnick’s 4-2-2-2, he’s had to make use of a mixture of Fred, Scott McTominay, and Nemanja Matic as his midfield base, none of whom are superb matches for the position.
Towards Burnley, the midfield pairing of Matic and McTominay labored effectively, with the previous appearing as a deep-lying progressor of the ball and the latter having the dynamism and power to push up and assist assaults. At 33-years of age, although, Matic can’t be relied upon to be United’s primary midfield anchor, whereas his lack of mobility might additionally pose points in opposition to groups who supply extra of an attacking menace.
This leaves Fred and McTominay because the default pivot, a midfield duo whose strengths and weaknesses grew to become obvious throughout the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reign. Whereas they each deliver tenacity, aggression, and power to the midfield, neither are dependable distributors of the ball and, as such, they stop Manchester United from really controlling video games.
Given the weaknesses in United’s current midfield pairings, their reported curiosity in RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara is smart. The 23-year-old midfielder credit Ragnick with pushing for his switch from RB Salzburg to Leipzig, and crucially, he’s the form of all-rounded central midfielder who has thrived in the identical tactical system Ragnick is trying to implement at Man United.
Throughout his three seasons at RB Leipzig, Haidara has developed into an extremely well-rounded midfielder who can adapt effectively to the particular position he’s given. When he first arrived at Leipzig, he impressed as an brisk ball-winning midfielder who might assist their frantic press from midfield, retrieve possession, and progress it successfully.
His ball-carrying was initially the foremost approach he might break opposition traces and transfer the ball forwards, however as time has gone on his passing has change into more and more incisive as effectively. This season, he’s now developed a goal-scoring dimension to his recreation, scoring a powerful 0.21 non-penalty targets per 90. Given these vary of talents, Haidara’s position needs to be considered within the context of the gamers and system round him.
If he had been to maneuver to Manchester United, he would play with Fred or McTominay in most matches in Ragnick’s 4-2-2-2. Given the caliber of offensive expertise forward of him, Haidara’s goal-scoring would possible drop-off considerably as he could be given a extra defensive remit.
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In possession, his technical high quality and want to maneuver possession ahead will likely be extraordinarily helpful. Virtually a 3rd of the gap Haidara’s passes journey extra towards the opposition aim, considerably greater than each Fred and McTominay. The Malian additionally makes extra progressive passes and passes into the penalty space than each the Brazilian and the Scotsman. Clearly, he would add a lot wanted ball development to the Manchester United midfield.
His defensive metrics this season are, whereas moderately stable, not particularly spectacular. Haidara can even not deliver the identical kind of calming presence that somebody like Matic can. He’s much less of a midfield anchor who can wrestle management of a midfield and extra somebody who can carry out an analogous box-to-box position to Fred and McTominay however at the next degree.
At 23, he’s nonetheless younger sufficient to develop numerous elements to his recreation and beneath Ragnick, he’ll be beneath the proper steerage to do it.
Midfielders of Haidara’s profile are all the time in excessive demand, and with a launch clause of £33 million makes him an reasonably priced and smart possibility for Manchester United. Amadou Haidara might deliver a lot wanted high quality to Ralf Ragnick’s midfield choices and assist their efforts to salvage Champions League soccer from their underwhelming first half of the marketing campaign.
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