Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will reportedly be in the market for a defensive midfielder when the transfer window reopens in January
The feel-good factor surrounding Manchester United’s summer business has well and truly evaporated, following a run of just two wins in their last six matches in all competitions.
The arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo had United fans dreaming of a first title since 2013.
But after a promising start, the Red Devils have found results difficult to come by, losing to Aston Villa at the end of last month, before starting October with a draw against Everton.
That means the pressure is back on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who knows he must win a trophy after being fully backed by Old Trafford bosses.
Reports have suggested that the Norwegian views a defensive midfielder as ‘the final piece in the jigsaw’ of his Man United team.
To start the season, Solskjaer has stuck with the tried, and often detested, midfield pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay.
The selection of ‘McFred’ regularly draws criticism from supporters who believe that a United team should be more focussed on attacking.
England pair Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have both been touted as the long-term solution to Solskjaer’s midfield woes, although both deals would be difficult to complete.
Former Aston Villa captain claimed a number of Premier League midfielders would walk into United’s midfield, including Sir Alex Ferguson favourite John McGinn.
“I say it every time I see him play, McTominay is the better version of Fred, definitely, but every time Fred gets the ball he gives it away – sloppy passes when they’re trying to build attacks,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT.
“He’ll kick it out of a play or to the opposition and even when he’s in there to win the ball back, like Allan or Doucoure does, Fred doesn’t do that.
“I don’t see why he’s in that Manchester United team. I’d rather [Jesse] Lingard all day or give [Donny] van de Beek a chance.
“There’s a lot of centre-midfielders that walk into that midfield…John McGinn walks into that midfield.”
Ferguson is a long-time admirer of his compatriot, who has helped transform Aston Villa from Championship strugglers to top-half challengers.
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Linked with a move to Old Trafford back in 2019, the scout that recommended McGinn to Villa, Bobby Jenks, claimed Sir Alex was unimpressed his old side didn’t land him.
Jenks told the Athletic: “He’s up there with the best-performing midfielders in the division.
“Wait until he’s had a year at that level and then we can say more.
“What I do know is that Sir Alex Ferguson is wondering why Manchester United let a talented Scottish boy slip through.
“He’ll be keeping a close eye on him that’s for sure and if he continues the way he is, you can bet he’ll be telling his pals at United, too.”
If Solskjaer does turn towards his managerial mentor for any advice between now, and when the transfer window re-opens, the name of John McGinn may very well come up.