On the most recent episode of The Stretford Paddock podcast (March 18, 6:20pm), regular contributors Joe, Adam and Alex have been discussing reported Manchester United transfer target Jack Grealish, and where he might fit in at Old Trafford.
Well, the guys have said previously that the Aston Villa star, who could cost £80m if the Midlands outfit stay in the Premier League according to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell, could be a potential replacement for Paul Pogba this summer.
A fan asked the question of where Grealish would fit in under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after saying they had only played him from the left wing, which caused something of a debate.
One of the contributors said (14:15): “He reminds me so much of [Eden] Hazard, in that he used to sort of start on the left, but just drift into midfield. Then he would hover in between the lines and that’s where he’s very productive, but the issue is then you lose a left winger. Then you put [Marcus] Rashford in there, and then you move him to No.10, but then you’ve got to take [Bruno] Fernandes out.”
Another added: “I don’t see him there. I think the reason he’s played so far forward for Villa is because they’re a team near the relegation zone that need to have three defensive midfielders in there.
“He doesn’t play the role of a left winger, he’s playing as a left-sided midfielder. I think his game can be suited to a more central role. He’s obviously not going to replace Rashford in United’s team.”
It’s certainly an interesting question.
While the 24-year-old has primarily played from the left for Villa during the 2019/20 campaign to date, as the boys mention it seems unlikely that he would be used there if he joined the Red Devils given they already have Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in their ranks.
That means he would have to slot into central midfield instead, and perhaps the formation he would fit into most would be a 4-3-3 where two of the midfielders play more advanced with a defensive anchor behind them – that would allow Grealish and Bruno Fernandes to both be in the starting XI.
There is a long way to go until that come becomes an issue though, with the Premier League campaign not even scheduled to restart until April 30 as things stand according to Thursday’s statement.
In other Man United news, another reported Red Devils transfer target has been described as “the most perfect No.7 for United”…