David Moyes’ bid to sign a world-class midfielder in the January transfer window is picking up pace, with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus his latest reported target.
Moyes’ midfield woes have been well documented this season. His only summer signing, Marouane Fellaini, has struggled to adapt to life at Old Trafford, and the only mainstay in the middle of the park, Michael Carrick, is currently enduring a spell on the sidelines with injury.
It also appears that the new boss doesn’t really know what to do with Nani. The talented Portuguese winger has promised much but often come up short in his time at Old Trafford, and he has made just six starts for United since Moyes took the reins from Sir Alex Ferguson.
If this deal does in fact materialise, then Reus would be a marked improvement on Nani. The German’s performances ooze consistency, which was a trait often lacking from Nani’s game, and his distribution is far superior.
Simply put, Reus is a better player in every way.
He is a give-and-go man, always making himself available for a pass. He demands the ball at his feet with his impressive movement, and when in possession he has composure far beyond his 24 years.
He is right-footed but tends to ply his trade on the left side of midfield. This allows him to cut inside where he can maximise his impact on the game, and his finishing touch in front of goal is one of his most impressive attributes.
A move for the 24-year-old, who is nicknamed the “German Messi”, would really see Moyes stamping his authority on the club, which is famed for its wing play.
There was much debate at the beginning of the season about Moyes’ preference to play with wide men who like to roam inside. Ferguson, as most previous United managers, preferred his wingers to hug the touchline and spread the play.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville had an interesting debate on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football at the beginning of the season.
Carragher asked if Moyes would change United or if United would change Moyes. Neville suggested it would be the latter, but it now appears to be the former, and a signing like Reus would further strengthen that claim.
Wingers like Wilfried Zaha, Ashley Young and the aforementioned Nani have been cast to the fringes under Moyes, while Shinji Kagawa, Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney have all spent time on the left.
Reus, unlike Nani, is a Moyes type of player and if the new boss is to be successful at Old Trafford, then he needs to be comfortable with the personnel at his disposal.
One thing is clear, however. If United are to get the best out of Reus then they need to strengthen in other areas of the pitch also.
Reus has scored 11 goals and assisted seven for club and country this campaign—per ESPNFC. Last season he bagged 27 and set up 14. But his contribution going forward will mean nothing if Moyes doesn’t find a way to plug the gaping holes in midfield and at the back.
United are in desperate need of a holding midfielder. And while Reus is a massive improvement on Nani, the champions can’t be content with just signing the German in January.
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