Manchester United are reportedly scouting CSKA Moscow’s central midfielder Aleksandr Golovin. Now, it goes without saying that United are in dire need of a quality central midfielder for the next season.
Possible Manchester United line-ups with Golovin
Let us now take a look at how United would line up if Golovin were to join them. Predominantly, the Russian plays as a No. 8 (central midfield), with an option of moving ahead to operate as a No. 10 (attacking midfielder).
Mourinho generally uses a 4-3-3 formation where Golovin could fit in as one of the central midfielders.
The other option for the manager would be to play the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Golovin as a No. 10 behind Romelu Lukaku.
However, it must be noted that a two-man midfield formation doesn’t suit Paul Pogba’s game. Hence, a triangle midfield in the 4-3-3 formation would be good to go. Nemanja Matic as the holder, and Pogba along with Golovin as two box-to-box midfielders.
Golovin’s dead-ball striking is of the highest order. One can recall his wonderful free-kick against Arsenal in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals. He also has the ability to pick a pass from deeper positions to open up an opposition defence in counter-attacking situations.
In addition to the above point, we all know Mourinho’s football is based on reaction play and counter-attacks. And as a result of that, Golovin could fit the system well due to his expertise in certain situations which are tailor-made for the kind of football played at Old Trafford currently.
Therefore, if we follow the 4-3-3 formation, United might line up as mentioned below:
David de Gea (GK); Antonio Valencia (RB), Eric Bailly (CB), Phil Jones (CB), Ashley Young (LB); Nemanja Matic (DM), Paul Pogba (LCM), Aleksandr Golovin (RCM); Alexis Sanchez (LW), Jesse Lingard (RW); Romelu Lukaku (ST).
On the contrary, if Mourinho wants to play safer with 4-2-3-1, then the lineup could be:
David de Gea (GK); Antonio Valencia (RB), Eric Bailly (CB), Phil Jones (CB), Ashley Young (LB); Nemanja Matic (DM), Ander Herrera (CDM), Aleksandr Golovin (RCM); Alexis Sanchez (LW), Jesse Lingard (RW); Romelu Lukaku (ST).
There is no doubt that Golovin will add another dimension to Manchester United’s midfield. His style of football would ideally suit the kind of system preferred by Mourinho. The Russian will obviously be under the scanner in the upcoming World Cup games against Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
However, if he performs at a proficient level, United will have a midfielder who is clever and great at reading the game in some crucial areas of the pitch.