The question of who should be United’s number 10 has been on the lips of many fans for a while now, and with Ole’s preference for playing an attacking midfielder ahead of two central midfielders, it seems the question will carry on. Jesse Lingard can press very well, however he rarely offers us the creativity or goal threat we need, Juan Mata might be able to play a deft pass but unfortunately it seems his legs have gone, Andreas Pereira has an almost unmatchable work rate but unfortunately he rarely seems to do anything with said work rate and who knows what is happening with Angel Gomes (although he would be my pick for the number 10 position). With that in mind, here are three players I think would excel in the position.
The Leicester City number 10 is currently in fine form for the Foxes, having scored four goals and set up another two across 11 Premier League appearances so far this season. The ex-Norwich playmaker is comfortable playing a few different positions across the midfield, either operating in a central role or on the left wing, however, it is in the number 10 that Maddison excels. With Leicester having a storming season so far, it’s difficult to see Maddison jumping ship to Old Trafford, however there could be cause for optimism given his history of supporting United evidenced by a couple of old Instagram posts of him enduring Europa League nights at Old Trafford back when he was plying his trade for the Canaries. Given Leicester’s shrewd approach to transfers (having taken a combined £140million from United and City for Maguire and Mahrez) it’s hard to see them letting one of their talismans go for anything short of a ridiculous fee, however it would be a good statement from the board that they’re going to back Ole and invest properly in the squad.
The name most linked with United last summer, and the name most people were disappointed didn’t end up joining. The Portuguese playmaker enjoyed a ridiculous 18/19 season, scoring 20 goals and assisting a further 13 for Sporting Lisbon, and he has carried that form into the current season, having scored 5 and assisted 5 in 10 appearances so far. Fernandes was linked with a host of top European clubs but never ended up making the switch, prompting fans to claim he would flop in the Premier League anyway but it’s hard to look past the stats. His aggressive attacking style from midfield would have benefited United massively this season especially in an area where we have looked so bereft of any flair or pure talent. The Lisbon number 10 continues to be linked with United ahead of a possible January transfer, and although it seems impossible that he’d join midway through a season, there’s always that little shred of hope that he could be tempted to the Theatre of Dreams.
A name not many would have been familiar with ahead of the 18/19 season, the young German midfielder enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season at Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 17 goals and assisting 4 in 34 appearances and has since become a regular in the German international team. His dribbling ability and passing accuracy would be perfect for this United side, who often struggle to beat teams who set up defensively. United’s reliance on counterattacking has seen them come unstuck against teams who sit deep and hit on the break. With the skillset he has at his disposal, Kai Havertz would give United more creativity and the ability to find the gaps in a low block, something we have struggled to do so far this season and with the young star only being 20, there’s plenty of time to get even better. It remains to be seen how much it would take to convince Leverkusen to part with their star asset, but a bid in the region of £70-£80million should get them considering it.