Why Julian Weigl would be a smart signing for Manchester United
Ole Gunner Solskjaer is facing more and more questions about his future as manager of Manchester United.
Manchester United currently sit 12th in the Premier League table, already 15 points adrift of arch-rivals Liverpool at the top of the table. They have already suffered demoralising defeats to Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle United.
The Red Devils will be desperate to get a result against their bitter rivals, Liverpool, this weekend but face a tough challenge against the unbeaten league leaders.
Regardless of what the result against Liverpool will be, Solskjaer’s squad simply isn’t up to the standards to break into the top six. The Norwegian certainly needs time and tools to take the club back on top.
United signed just three players during the summer transfer window and notably, the new faces have made an instant impact.
There is a lot of surgery yet to be done to the squad if the Red Devils are to genuinely start challenging for titles. Apart from the striking department, one area Solskjaer must prioritise addressing in January is his midfield.
Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera both departed without being replaced, leaving Solskjaer to start the season with Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic as only options in the midfield.
While Pogba is United’s world-class performer and McTominay continues to shine in difficult circumstances, Fred and Matic continue to disappoint, while Andreas Pereira hasn’t set the world alight.
Ideally United need two or three central midfielders over the next few transfer windows, but with so many holes to be plugged, they could look for a young but experienced midfielder to add some much-needed depth in the middle of the park.
In that regard, the Premier League club should make a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl, who was linked with a move to Old Trafford in January 2018.
Julian Weigl, 24, was once regarded as one of the biggest stars of German football after his emergence at 1860 Munich. His performances at 1860 Munich saw him get picked up by Dortmund in 2015 and at the Signal Iduna Park as he established himself as one of the best young midfielders.
However, in the last 18 months or so, the 24-year-old’s stock has gone down. Injuries and lack of form have stalled Weigl’s career at Dortmund, with the German managing just 25 appearances across all competitions last season.
He has made five Bundesliga appearances this season, with manager Lucien Favre preferring Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney in central midfield.
Even if Weigl has struggled in the last 18 months or so, United must rekindle their interest in him during the winter transfer window. Weigl is also a superb passer of the ball and is very comfortable in possession, whilst excelling when breaking up opposition’s play.
The Germany international has the skill-set to control the tempo of a game from deep in midfield.
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He tries to keep things simple by moving the ball quickly across the pitch and certainly the 24-year-old’s qualities would be a boon for pacey counter-attacking players such as Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood.
Plus, Weigl’s strong defensive qualities and ability to launch attacks from deep would make him a potential replacement for the ageing Matic.
A move for Weigl will certainly command a lot of money and United should be ready to spend big on a player who can be a solution to their midfield problems.