Manchester United might have won all their Premier League games this season but there still are a number of decisions to be taken up by Jose Mourinho. One position that still has not been fixed yet is that of a deep-lying playmaker, especially with Michael Carrick not being at his best anymore.
There is a lot of competition for places in this Manchester United team and from the lot there seem to be three stars that might get a berth in the XI. Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera can slug it out for the spot but which player is best suited for this role?
Who plays alongside Paul Pogba at Manchester United?
The three-way battle certainly is not going to be easy to decide. While Pogba will be the one dashing forward and doing his job in attack, his partner would have to sweep up in front of the defence. Another important aspect of this player would be to start attacks and ping balls across for the rest of the team.
Looking at the numbers from last season’s Premier League games, the player with the greatest range of passing over 90 minutes was Morgan Schneiderlin. The French midfielder racked up a range of 16.69 metres compared to just 14.33 metres for Fellaini and 15 metres dead on for Herrera.
That should not be a surprise as both Herrera and Fellaini often join the attack while Schneiderlin normally stays back in front of the defence.
The former Southampton man also had a better pass percentage of 89% compared to 83% and 84% for Fellaini and Herrera respectively. It does seem like Schneiderlin has the range to do the job but what about defending for the team?
Tackling is going to be an important job for the deepest lying midfielder and in a twist, it is Herrera who won the most number of tackles last season. The Spaniard notched up 2.62 tackles per 90 minutes compared to 1.52 for Fellaini and 2.04 for the more defensive minded Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin though is better when it comes to intercepting the opposition. The former Southampton player averaged 2.98 interceptions per game compared to just 0.84 for Fellaini and 1.40 for Herrera.
Ensuring that the defence is not attacked and starting attacks with a long range of passing would be the two key requirements for any player in this position. Based on the stats provided, it does seem that Schneiderlin is suited to this role more than the other two.
But Jose being Jose, he would probably play Fellaini, just to mess around with a few Manchester United fans.