Home » Erik ten Hag must consider Leicester City pair to strengthen Man United’s midfield

Erik ten Hag must consider Leicester City pair to strengthen Man United’s midfield

by David O'Neill

The final day of the Premier League season ended with high drama, as Leicester City’s miserable season ended with relegation. Many clubs will have been keeping a keen eye on possible transfer targets, with players likely to agitate for a transfer rather than drop down a division. With Manchester United in dire need of midfield reinforcement, two Fox’s player will have been of particular interest.

James Maddison is undoubtedly the standout player to have suffered relegation this term, having registered 19 goal involvements in 30 Premier League appearances.

The Leicester City man is a fine direct set-piece taker, which is certainly an area in which United need improvement, having scored none of their shot on goal from free kicks during the just-ended league season.

His versatility would enable Erik ten Hag to play him in midfield, behind the striker, or off either wing, with the Dutchman having shown a penchant for shifting the pieces of his midfield and forward line around around to gain an advantage.

The trouble is that recent reports have indicated that the Dutchman’s sights are firmly fixed on Maddison’s international colleague Mason Mount, and it would be difficult to imagine both players turning up at Carrington this summer.

It is tempting to speculate that United could turn their attentions to Maddison should their pursuit of the Chelsea academy graduate fall through. But it would appear that Ten Hag is drawn to Mount’s qualities in terms of pressing and tactical acumen, rather than the obvious creativity offered by the Leicester playmaker.

This may not be one to rule out completely, but Ten Hag seems to want a different profile of player to add to his offensive midfield options.

Deeper in midfield, Youri Tielemans comes with the added bonus of being available on a free transfer this summer,

The Belgian playmaker is capable of some excellent passes and has scored a few screamers since moving to England. His ability to progress the ball from deep and playing in teammates in the final third could ease the burden on Christian Eriksen, without whom United have struggled to build play through the midfield at times this season.

Eriksen suffered a lengthy injury back in January and had shown signs of fatigue both before said incident and since coming back into the team in April.

But while Tielemans would provide cover for the Dane, there have been concerns over his work ethic and defensive positioning throughout his time at the King Power Stadium. Additionally, the only suitable partner for the 26-year-old currently in the United squad is Casemiro, and there are no other positions in the team in which Tielemans would be an obvious fit.

The question therefore becomes twofold. Firstly, how much are Man United willing to pay a player to play second fiddle to Christian Eriksen? And secondly, is that a role that would even interest Youri Tielemans?

Both James Maddison and Youri Tielemans have shown their qualities in the past and either could be a good addition to the Manchester United squad. Ultimately, whether one or both of the pair end up at Old Trafford next season will come down to what the manager is looking for and what the club can agree.


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