Manchester United produced their most comprehensive display of the season as they returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-1 win against Chelsea on Wednesday.
The xG stats from after the game will paint the apt picture, with United out-attacking the visitors but not notching more due to the profligacy on display.
However, it is also true that the lack of midfield balance led to the Blues creating quite a few chances of their own but they were not clinical enough at Old Trafford.
ETH is yet to figure out his ideal midfield combo
Injuries and poor form have meant manager Erik ten Hag has been unable to pick his strongest XI this season and the midfield has been an area of concern from the first game.
Last season’s preferred midfield combination have not worked this term. Casemiro’s poor form has been a concern, so has been the lack of defensive cover provided by Christian Eriksen.
The former Tottenham Hotspur star’s passing remains as ethereal as ever but he simply cannot last in a game against the top sides, especially away from home.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, soon to be in charge of the sporting sector of the club, is reportedly looking at dispensing with the 31-year-old, someone who has “long been a favourite” of the manager.
“Man United are willing to sell Christian Eriksen in January as they prepare to dump another superstar, sources have told Football Insider.
“Sources revealed to Football Insider that the club feel that the 31-year-old’s “legs have gone” and that he is struggling to keep up with the intensity of the Premier League.
Eriksen on his way out
“The midfielder’s future is in major doubt as Sir Jim Ratcliffe prepares to take control of football decisions at Old Trafford as his deal to purchase a 25 per cent stake in the club is days from completion.”
Eriksen, who is currently injured, has scored thrice and assisted 12 times in 59 games since his arrival as a free agent when Ten Hag took charge of the club.
Whether or not the Dane leaves in January remains to be seen. It is certainly true that his running power is no longer the same as earlier, but in a season riddled with injuries, Ten Hag will not be able to do without his most accomplished passer in midfield.