It is no secret that Manchester United are in a precarious position currently and the reasons are complicated. Lack of defensive shape is one of them but they do have quality defenders who can be world-class on their day. The one area in which they clearly need more talents is defensive midfield. Hence, a defensive midfielder plus a viable back-up for Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the need of the hour. Keeping this in mind, we will take a look at five players United can target in the winter transfer window.
#5 Harry Winks
An experimental but a cheap option to solve Manchester United’s midfield woes could be Harry Winks. He is a Tottenham Hotspur academy product but has never gotten a consistent run in the first team. Winks is known for his passing range and the ability to the act as a deep-lying playmaker. He is a rarity among English midfielders who are more gifted in terms of physicality and work rate.
Pochettino once compared Winks’ game to that of Xavi and Iniesta, which is high praise. He might not have star value but United could use that to their benefit to acquire him for a lesser fee.
#4 Nampalys Mendy
Mendy has often been compared with Makelele because of his defensive game and French nationality. When he joined Leicester, many believed he will fulfill his potential but in five years there has been no significant growth. After the arrival of Ndidi, he has been completely sidelined and did not even Leicester’s Premier League squad for 21/22 season. Mendy might not be among the world’s best but he is an attractive option in the winter transfer window.
#3 Boubacar Kamara
Kamara plays for Ligue 1 club Marseille and is yet to make his French debut. He is still considered too young to claim a spot in the national team but his talent is obvious. The role of a defensive midfielder requires maturity and usually older players are considered a better fit, especially in the Premier League. But Kamara is known for his composure and has rarely been overawed by the occasion. Kamara is reportedly available for less than 30 million euros and that is a valid fee for a player of his ability and age.
#2 Kieran Trippier
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) November 9, 2021
Trippier recently admitted that he would like to end his career in the Premier League, having spent the majority of his career in England. At Spurs, he was regarded as one of PL’s best full-backs and he has only improved his game under Simeone. Trippier is known for his crosses, especially from set pieces.
Wan-Bissaka is a mighty fine defender on one versus one but when it comes to quality delivery he definitely falls short of the world’s best. Trippier will help solve that issue while also bringing in loads of experience. United can acquire him for a fairly reasonable price in the winter transfer window with his contract expiring in 2023.
#1 Franck Kessie
Man Utd 'delighted' by Kessie free transfer and hope to steal ace from Barcelona https://t.co/RP6K9yWXlC
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) November 11, 2021Advertisement
Kessie was at the forefront of AC Milan’s renaissance last season and is widely regarded as a world-class defensive midfielder. He has the perfect physical attributes and is gradually improving on his distribution. Kessie scored 13 goals and provided four assists in Serie A 20/21, impressive numbers for a central midfielder.
Kessie is valued at around 50 million pounds by transfermarkt but more importantly his contract expires in the summer. Hence, Manchester United will be eager to go for him in January, as it will put more pressure on AC Milan to sell Kessie for a profit.