It is fewer than two months since Manchester United finished their 2018/19 Premier League campaign in the sixth position.
Only two players have been added to the squad that missed out on Champions League football last term and despite the signings of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has a lot of work to do to complete his squad ahead of the new campaign.
After finishing outside the top four, one could argue that every area of the squad needs work, but there is a significant issue in the middle of the park. Solskjaer relied heavily upon the midfield three of Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba during his impressive run of results after succeeding Jose Mourinho at the club.
Herrera has left, while Pogba’s future remains up in the air. Matic lacks the agility to play in Solskjaer’s system and could be used as a squad player next term.
The Red Devils have handed Andreas Pereira a new contract and we could see the Brazilian play a significant role in the starting XI along with fellow academy graduate Scott McTominay, who was undoubtedly United’s best player during the business end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Fred struggled to live up to his billing in his debut season at Old Trafford and while he is yet to join the squad in Australia after staying behind for personal reasons, the diminutive Brazilian is expected to get chances under Solskjaer.
It’s evident that United lack personnel and quality in central midfield and could be further depleted if Pogba departs this summer. While Solskjaer is keen to hold onto his star midfielder, he’ll need to make it a priority to strengthen his midfield after adding the likes of James and Wan-Bissaka.
Back in November 2017, the Daily Star claimed United were interested in signing Valencia’s midfield ace Carlos Soler. But a move didn’t happen during the 2018 January transfer window and the Spaniard stayed with Valencia.
Soler, 22, has long been one of the most promising young players in La Liga and he helped Valencia qualify for the Champions League last season. Considering his consistent displays for Los Che under Marcelinho, United must rekindle their interest in the Spanish midfielder and try signing him.
Standing six feet tall, Soler, who can play in different positions across the midfield, uses his dribbling skills and close-control to evade opponents and create goalscoring chances for his teammates. He is extremely composed in possession and is an excellent passer of the ball, always with the mindset to pass forward and create openings.
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The Spanish Under-21 international can run with the ball at his feet, send teasing crosses into the box and has developed a knack for scoring goals in big games.
However, Valencia are likely to remain resolute in their determination to keep hold of Soler, who has come through the ranks at Mestalla to become a key player in the side. The 22-year-old has an €80 million release clause which United must trigger to rejuvenate their midfield ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
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