Nemanja Matic was terrific for Man Utd this weekend against Everton, partnering well with Donny van de Beek as the number 6. Matic is not getting younger and is unlikely to play every game this season for Man Utd.
Scott McTominay and Fred were used almost exclusively last season as defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 system. During that time creativity from the midfield duo was lacking, Fred and McTominay would opt for more linear passes.
McTominay would offer an outlet going forwards at times and to be fair both had some good line splitting passes at times, but against better opposition Man Utd were stale in the middle, Bruno would try and drop back and create from deeper positions negating his goal scoring prowess.
Having a ball winning number 6 paired with a number 8 like Pogba and DVB could allow Bruno to get forward more instead of having to drop back and help create.
With Man Utd already shelling out money for Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, buying a defensive midfielder with a high price tag seems unlikely this window. United can stick it out with rotating Matic in more this season, maybe even give DVB an opportunity in that role.
Some of the players that Man Utd should be interested at defensive midfield in the future would include: Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Wilfred Ndidi, Eduardo Camavinga, Ruben Neves and even Yves Bissouma, but the prices are high.
If one of those players were to come in, multiple players might have to be sold especially one of the midfielders on the squad, the only likely player that could possibly leave would be Scott McTominay.
European clubs have money problems that will keep Paul Pogba here for the season at least. DVB, Mata, Matic and Fred are all set to stay. Andreas Pereira could be loaned out, maybe a small fee for him, but not enough to put a dent in a big signing.
Scott McTominay if put on the market will get a lot of attention from Premier League sides and once Jesse Lingard sells United could be able to get close to finance something, but McTominay does not look like he is going anywhere.
Man Utd might have to focus on something less expensive this window, they have James Garner who is highly rated, but could he be trusted in such a key position? Maybe cup matches.
These three players are decently priced and have great experience in Europe and play key roles for the current clubs.
Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig
Tyler Adams has been with Leipzig since 2019 when he signed during the January transfer window. Adams was signed from New York Red Bulls, staying in the Red Bull system.
Adams started this weekend for Leipzig in a DFB Pokal Cup match and has appeared in over 51 matches for Leipzig since his arrival in 2019. The United States international can also play right wingback and has featured in that role for both club and country.
Adams scored a game winning goal in the Champions League Quarterfinals two season ago against Atletico Madrid sending Leipzig to their first ever Semifinal.
The 22-year-old is extremely athletic and attracted attention earlier in the window from Arsenal. Leipzig does not seem ready to give up their flexible American, new manager Jesse Marsch is also American and has brought in another highly rated American prospect from New York Red Bulls.
Adams is valued at €22 million according to transfermarkt.
Orel Mangala – Stuttgart
Mangala would be the most expensive option for Man Utd, at over €25 million, the Belgian midfielder has turned heads after a great performance for Stuttgart in their return to the Bundesliga.
Mangala recently had bids turned down by the German club with the club allegedly holding out for around €30 million.
Mangala is a great passer and dribbles well and is similar in style to someone like Frank Zambo Anguissa from Fulham, who played well for the Cottagesrs despite getting relegated.
The price tag might be a bit much for Man Utd now, but if a couple of players go Man Utd would and should have enough to pull the trigger on someone like Mangala.
Edson Alvarez – Ajax
Another North American on the list and surprisingly the cheapest. Edson Alvarez has around 60 appearances for the Dutch club in all competitions and 43 appearances for Mexico.
The 23-year-old is also versatile like his regional rival Tyler Adams, Alvarez can play in the center of defense and has played right back at times for Mexico.
The Mexican international is lauded for his leadership skills in Mexico and paved a way for himself at young age in an experienced Mexican team that has had longtime options in central midfield with the likes of Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera.
According to transfermarkt, the Ajax stud is only listed €15 million, a steal for a club looking to bolster their defensive midfield options while also padding the depth of other positions.
Plus, Javier Hernandez was a great signing from Mexico, maybe it is time for another Mexican at Old Trafford.