Micah Richards thinks that Manchester United still lacks quality in the defensive midfield to be serious title contenders.
The English club splurged a total of £133.72 million including add-ons in the summer transfer window to bring in the likes of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo to boost their chances of winning the league title under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. While these transfers would have helped in strengthening their chances of winning the league, Richards believes they still are a couple of paces off from winning the league. If you are one of those tipsters, the best way to bet on football is to get on any of the latest transfer moves and make a punt.
Richards says on BBC’s Match of the Day Top 10 podcast (h/t Metro), “I don’t think they [United] are going to win. I think they’ll come close”. He continues, “Varane is quality, the backline is superb but the holding midfield role I’m not sure about”.
Based on what the former City right-back said, it seems that he is still unsure about the defensive midfield position. Fred and Scott McTominay are more like central midfielders rather than defensive midfielders and that could affect the Red Devils’ chances of winning the league. Nemanja Matic is a proper option but being 33, he may not be at the same level as he was during his prime.
With reports suggesting that United could be looking for a defensive midfielder in the winter transfer window, Richards could be right about having this opinion. This is further solidified by Man Utd’s interest in Ruben Neves during the summer transfer window.
There have been reports that link the England duo, Declan Rice and Kalvin Philips to the Old Trafford. Peter Crouch said in Mail Online (h/t Manchester Evening News) that “Solskjaer will want a midfielder who can link the different units and act as a stable base when the ball is turned over”. He continued, “Put Declan Rice or Kalvin Phillips in there – spending another huge amount on a new signing – it arguably becomes the strongest group in the league”.
And this could be the final piece of the puzzle that United have been searching for quite a while to help them with winning the Premier League.