While Louis Van Gaal has done considerably well in his six months at Manchester United, he still struggles to find the right combination needed for this team to thrive. Part of the reason has been the defense and the system employed by Van Gaal, but another is that he has been forced to use players such as Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata in a midfield two. Ander Herrera was signed by United in the summer, but a few injuries and perhaps a lack of trust in the player has seen him being stationed on the bench for most of the year. Michael Carrick, who has been Uniteda s go to man this year, has suffered from a muscle tear and will be out for a considerable amount of time. With only two days remaining in the window, manager Louis Van Gaal may be tempted to dip into his pocket and buy a player to provide that much needed balance.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, United had the most feared midfield in the world. Opposition fans, both domestic and continental, would envy Manchester Uniteda s riches and whine about the relatively sorry state of their own cluba s midfield options a for no partnership was as complete as the dynamic duo comprising captain marvellous Roy Keane and a young Paul Scholes who was nicknamed a Sat-Nava by his colleagues for his unerring ability to find team-mates at will. Fast forward ten years and you will still hear fans moaning, groaning and whining, the only difference, ita ll all be coming from the north west of England. Though difficult to decipher exactly what or who it is that they crave, careful listening would ensure you to find a few names which feature constantly in their conversations.
A former Manchester United player of course, Paul Pogba will forever be called a the one who got awaya . Legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson may have done most things right, but letting Paul Pogba slip out of his hands was one of his biggest blunders. Since leaving United for Juventus in 2012, the Frenchman has become the crown jewel in the Old Ladya s pickings and most in Italy rate him ahead of even the experienced Vidal.
In the search for the next Xavi, Barcelona shelled out an enormous a 39 million to lure La Masia product Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal back in 2011. The Fabregas experiment, however, failed miserably as the former Arsenal captain struggled at the Camp Nou. Where the Catalans missed the trick, rivals Real Madrid didn’t as they signed Croatian Luka Modric from Arsenala s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Comfortable with the ball at his feet, Modrica s ball distribution skills are second to none in world football. His pass accuracy of 94 percent in the Championsa League last year propelled Real to La Decima.
Linked with United constantly over the last year and a half, Atletico Madrida s Arda Turan is another midfield dynamo who will fit into Uniteda s 3-4-1-2 system like a dream. The bearded Turkey international was instrumental in his sidea s La Liga triumph last term and is one player coach Diego Simeone rates very highly. Prising Turan away will be difficult for the beleaguered 20-time English champions as he is the rock on which this superb Atletico side is built on.
a Battle tank Schweisteigera is one of the most underrated midfielders of all time. While he was quite flamboyant in his early years in football, the German has matured into one of the gamea s most intelligent players. Based on talent alone, Schweinsteiger wouldna t be able to challenge many of the players mentioned above on the list, however, it is his unshakable will and his unrelenting desire that separate him from the rest. At the recently concluded World Cup, the right-footed 28 year-old was phenomenal, inspiring his team in crunch situations and driving Germany to its fourth World Cup. Schweinsteiger is a born leader a a player you need in desperate times and these are desperate times at Old Trafford.
The unsung hero. Despite winning the Champions League and the World Cup in the same year, Real Madrida s Sami Khedira is anything but a wanted man at the moment. Having spent almost the entire last season on the injury sidelines, the former Stuttgart midfielder returned at the World Cup in Brazil and played his part in Germanya s triumph. Khedira, however, is a low profile player who does the job asked off him and moves on without any complaints. Extravagance is not in the 27 year-olda s nature and in todaya s day and age hea s one of those old fashioned players who like to make their football do the talking. None of Khediraa s statistics will ever do justice to the kind of impact he can have on a team.