Manchester United have the pedigree of being linked to a superfluity of players in the past years whether in the sense of challenging for titles or staying outside the competitive top four places.
This season has not been any different from what has been labelled as a constant act in the papers with regards to the Red Devils. Bruno Fernandes was heavily linked with the club in the summer, but any move back then seemed unlikely to happen with Sporting standing firm on their decision to keep the player.
In January, a pursuit of James Maddison was initially ended after acquiring the signature of the Portugal international and the midfielder has not disappointed since his arrival.
However, the midfield department continues to be one of the loopholes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still hopes to fill as he prepares to clear out the ‘dead woods’.
This hint has seen the club been linked to Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Ajax’s Donny Van de Beek and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso, but how have the three fared for their respective clubs in the 2019/20 campaign?
Here, we take a look at the personalities Solskjaer may be looking at and what the advantage each player could prove for the Red Devils.
Grealish, Van de Beek and Tolisso are all versatile in their own ways but who comes out on top in this category?
Donny Van de Beek can play as a traditional midfielder, as a defensive midfielder or as an attacking midfielder. His physicality may not make him a good defensive midfield option, but should United tend to look at playing the ball out from the back through a playmaker, Van de Beek could suit the ‘regista’ role.
Tolisso is often used as a central midfielder playing as a No.8. His limited versatile role could really rule him out of this category, with United posing a whole lot of natural central midfielders. He continues to battle with Thiago and Leon Goretzka at Bayern for a place in midfield.
Jack Grealish on the other hand, proves the winner in this role. The Villa captain has played as a central midfielder, as an attacking midfielder and as a forward for the relegation-threatened side. He gives options to any coach who would have him in his team. His wide range of passing and keeping the ball close to his feet makes him a clear winner amongst the three.
Advantage – Jack Grealish
Van de Beek has contributed to 20 goals for Ajax in the current campaign with 14 coming in 23 league appearances. Grealish has scored 10 goals and provided 10 assists across all competitions, an outstanding achievement by a midfield player.
The Ajax midfielder has also been involved in 17 goals in 31 outings across all competitions for Aston Villa. A whopping 13 goal contributions in the Premier League, with seven goals and six assists.
In the current campaign, Tolisso has played just 24 appearances, scoring three and assisting five times for Bayern. With a relative low impact compared to the other two.
Advantage – Van de Beek
Tolisso is valued at a fee around £31 million and could serve as a bargain considering his age, but injuries may be the concern for United.
Van de Beek is available for a fee around £44 million and at just 23-years old, he could suit the youth policy at Old Trafford.
Grealish is said to be a boyhood United fan and his price tag of about £60 million could just be too high for Ed Woodward to fork out considering the times we find ourselves in.
Advantage – Corentin Tolisso
As a Man United or football fan, which of the three would you love to see in the ‘Red Jersey’ in the 2020/21 season?