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Gary Neville is a big fan of Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin

by Sam Peoples

Morgan Schneiderlin‘s potential arrival at Manchester United this summer has got fans excited.

On paper, there aren’t many players in the Premier League who are better suited to the No.6 defensive midfield role which Louis van Gaal is keen to improve and he’s certainly got one big fan – Gary Neville.

Back in December 2014, Southampton were in fourth place, just one point behind Man United, and Schneiderlin was a key figure in their superb start to the season from his influential role in midfield.

In choosing his Team of the Year so far, Neville overlooked Cesc Fabregas to include Schneiderlin despite the Spaniard being on course to set a Premier League assists record.

“I think he is one of the best performing midfield players in the league of his type,” Neville argued.

What United need is a midfield cleaner, a player who enjoys nothing more than breaking up the opposition’s play and beginning attacks for his team.

It is an unspectacular but crucial role which Michael Carrick played with aplomb (and Daley Blind at points) but injuries to both left United short-stacked and the results suffered.

United have got midfielders who are capable of providing the assists (Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Angel di Maria, etc) but without a top drawer holding midfielder, they are forced to get involved in defensive duties too. With Schneiderlin in the team, those responsibilities would diminish.

Football is all about balance and it’s a drum which Van Gaal kept banging all of last year. While the signing of Schneiderlin is unlikely to directly add lots more goals and assists, a player of his ilk is exactly what United need to serve as the glue that keeps the team together.

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