Why Manchester United should plot a January swoop for Leon Goretzka
Back in December 2017, the Manchester Evening News had claimed that Manchester United were interested in signing Leon Goretzka, who was then playing for FC Schalke.
Leon Goretzka, 24, had six months left on his contract and had stalled on signing a new deal at Schalke. Manchester United wanted to take advantage of that situation and attempted to sign him on a cut-price deal in January 2018.
However, a deal never materialised, as the German midfielder had already decided to join Schalke’s Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in the following summer.
The Germany international enjoyed a solid debut campaign with Bayern Munich, managing eight goals and five assists in 30 Bundesliga appearances. Overall, he made 42 appearances as Bayern won the title for the seventh successive season.
The Bavarians have started the new campaign well, picking up four points from the first two games. Goretzka hasn’t played the first two league games as he is currently out injured with a hamstring injury.
Nevertheless, Manchester United should reignite their interest and plot an audacious January swoop for Goretzka.
It only took three Premier League matches before Manchester United lost their first game of the new campaign. After releasing Ander Herrera and selling Marouane Fellaini back in January, it was evident that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to reinvest in his midfield.
And yet, somehow, he failed to reinforce his central midfield options that currently include Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira.
The first impression about United’s midfield is it lacks true quality, with the team heavily dependent on Pogba to create magic from the middle of the park in every single game.
The Frenchman is undeniably one of United’s very few world-class players that can change the course of a game in one blink of an eye. But he needs a combative presence next to him to do his job freely.
McTominay impressed in the pre-season but had difficult times against Wolves and Crystal Palace. Nemanja Matic is past his prime, while Fred hasn’t had a great debut season at Old Trafford. To be precise, Solskjaer could do well with someone like Goretzka.
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A central midfielder by trade, Goretzka can play in a deeper role or on either of the flank. Not only is he adept at winning the ball and coming out on top in physical battles but he can also carry it through phases of the pitch, make incisive passes to his teammates and even chip in with goals.
The German’s adaptability, application and positional awareness would make him an ideal fit for Solskjaer’s United.
Goretzka has all the right qualities to thrive in the Premier League and under Solskjaer. He’ll be an upgrade on Herrera, bring balance to the midfield and also boost United’s immediate need of getting back to the Champions League.