Why this 31-year-old veteran would be a brilliant addition to this youthful Man United side

Why Ever Banega would be a smart signing for Manchester United

Manchester United are in dire need of midfield reinforcements and Sunday’s draw with Aston Villa was further proof of that.

The club has serious problems in the midfield and Scott McTominay’s absence in the Red Devils’ last three games has exposed their shortcomings in that area of the pitch.

Andreas Pereira and Fred are playing regularly but it should not have got to the stage where Manchester United’s third and fourth-choice midfielders are as average as this.

Ever Banega of Sevilla FC (R) duels for the ball with Thomas Teye Partey of Club Atletico de Madrid (L) during the Liga match between Sevilla FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. (Getty Images)
Ever Banega of Sevilla FC (R) duels for the ball with Thomas Teye Partey of Club Atletico de Madrid (L) during the Liga match between Sevilla FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. (Getty Images)

Pereira and Fred were paired together against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lacked control and tempo in both games, highlighting the need for reinforcements.

Paul Pogba could soon return after more than two months out with a foot injury, while McTominay’s flared ankle should recover in time for him to feature against Tottenham.

Nevertheless, Solskjaer should prioritise addressing the midfield in January as that area just doesn’t have good enough quality.

Back in 2016, Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega was heavily linked with a switch to United, as per Tuttosport (h/t Independent). In the end, however, nothing materialised.

Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)
Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

Ever Banega, 31, became a key component across two campaigns at Sevilla, helping them to a further two European titles before departing for Inter in 2016. He returned to the Andalusian club in the summer of 2017 following an unsuccessful season in Italy and has once again become a fundamental part of their first-team.

The Argentina international made 51 appearances across all competitions for Sevilla last season, scoring 8 goals in the process. He has performed very well in the 2019/20 campaign so far, managing a goal and four assists in 14 La Liga games.

Even at the ripe age of 31, Banega could be a useful player for United. A technically-gifted and tactically versatile player, the Argentinean can play anywhere across the midfield.

He is blessed with immense technical skills that make him such a creative presence in the middle of the park. He knows when to make a tactical foul and is also quite proficient when it comes to launching counter-attacks.

Argentina midfielder Ever Banega in action against Nigeria in the 2018 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Argentina midfielder Ever Banega in action against Nigeria in the 2018 World Cup. (Getty Images)

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Banega’s willingness to close down opponents coupled with his ability to thread incisive passes into the final third makes him an ideal component as the Red Devils do naturally lack the presence of a true creative force in the midfield.

In the video below, one could see the midfielder’s style of play and the qualities he could bring to United if a move goes through.

The former Valencia star is ideally suited to cope with the fast-paced nature of English football, thanks to his tough-tackling and robust approach. Plus, Banega’s winning mentality and vast experience could help him quickly settle down in the English top-flight.

Verdict

Solskjaer needs a midfield general in his ranks to control games, week in and week out. And someone in the stature of Banega would be ideal for this youthful United side.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
Follow me @garrydevildada

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