India's Premier Lifestyle Destination For Men.


3 Central Midfield Targets For Manchester United In The January Transfer Window

Franck Kessie of AC Milan
A A A tT

Manchester United have a central midfield problem, and it’s been holding the team back throughout the first half of the season. Every successful modern side in Europe possess midfielders that are a) technically secure in possession and b) have the athleticism and awareness to shield the defence.

Manchester United, however, currently have only one midfielder that is capable of doing both those things consistently, Scott McTominay. Nemanja Matic fulfils only one of the above criteria, while Paul Pogba and Fred fulfil neither at the highest level for a team playing with a double pivot.

Hence, reinforcements are needed in central midfield, and here are three players that Manchester United can sign in 2022.

3. Declan Rice (West Ham United)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by DR (@declanrice)

It would be nearly impossible for Manchester United to prise Declan Rice out of West Ham in January, but the Englishman would represent the dream signing for the Red Devils, ticking every box for a central midfielder. The 22-year-old has been one of the primary reasons for West Ham’s unprecedented success over the last two seasons and has attracted interest from every top club in England.

Rice’s physical presence, stature and ability to break up play in midfield is exactly what Manchester United are currently lacking in the middle of the park. While his passing can improve, Rice is also an incredibly proficient dribbler, possessing extraordinary ball-carrying skills, which would help United’s build-up play and ability to progress the ball through midfield.

2. Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ruben Neves (@rubendsneves)

A more cut-price target for Manchester United in January would be Wolves’ midfielder Ruben Neves, who has had a wonderful season under Bruno Lage and comes with Premier League experience. The Portuguese midfielder was one of the best players on the pitch in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Wolves in January, and after a few seasons in the Midlands, the 24-year-old seems ready to make the step up.

Although Neves doesn’t have the athleticism of Rice, the Portuguese is fairly strong in the challenge, completing the sixth-most tackles (86) in the league last season. More impressively, his passing range and ability are up there with the best midfielders in the league, averaging 4.81 progressive passes per 90 minutes.

Neves would also cost somewhere in the region of £40 million in January, making him a more affordable option compared to other Premier League targets such as Declan Rice or Wilfred Ndidi.

1. Franck Kessie (AC Milan)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Franck Yannick Kessie (@franckkessie)

With only six months left on his contract in Milan and no intention to sign an extension, Franck Kessie would be the most realistic option for Manchester United in January. The 24-year-old would instantly upgrade United’s midfield, providing defensive solidity and dynamism alongside Scott McTominay.

The Ivory Coast international has thrived at AC Milan as the engine room of the midfield, adding energy and physicality in front of the back four. Kessie is also an excellent penalty taker and incredibly tidy on the ball, averaging 2.6 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes along with a pass completion near 90%.

Considering his contract situation with the Rossoneri, there is plenty of competition for Kessie’s signature, and the Red Devils may need to act fast if they wish to bolster their ranks in the January Window in order to secure Champions League football for next season.


[Featured Image Credit: Franck Kessie]