Marco Reus posted another memorable performance during Borussia Dortmund's 3-0 hammering of Bayern Munich, an individual display that showcased why David Moyes should use the German forward as a key figure in his summer rebuild.
Reus contributed a goal and assist to whoop the side who tore United apart just a few days earlier. Despite Ben Burrows of the Mirror saying the German press believe "a switch could soon be in the offing," Reus had some potentially damning words for the Red Devils' defensive tactics deployed against Pep Guardiola's European champions:
"I think the way we played today was the only way you can get something against Bayern," Reus said. "Sitting deep doesn't work."
While Reus is correct, United were forced to play to the best of their means during the recent Champions League quarter-final. Moyes' style continues to draw criticism, particularly throughout his side's terrible Premier League campaign, but the summer will provide him with a perfect opportunity to make things right.
This starts with Reus. Moyes must sign a cut-and-thrust forward, the kind of individual who possesses extreme pace, dribbling skills and finishing ability. United, a club famous for its No. 7's, currently doesn't have anyone donning the shirt previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Such a prestigious symbol should be saved for a marquee signing. Someone who can handle the pressure. Reus has proven fearless across previous seasons, making him one of the world's most sought-after players.
He continues to excel despite Dortmund's inconsistencies. Reus has racked up 19 goals and 12 assists across the Bundesliga and Champions League, two prizes that weren't destined to end up in the Westfalenstadion's trophy cabinet this year, per WhoScored.com.
OptaFranz also pointed out the 24-year-old's stunning turn of form:
Reus has a natural knack of drifting into space before unleashing an incisive run or pass. His dribbling skill is matched by expert vision and a delicate touch that makes him classy in possession and unpredictable to mark.
He is a far cry from underperforming United players such as Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young. This trio's skills have descended toward predictability over the years. Their dribbling has become telegraphed, crosses misplaced and goalscoring output largely non-existent.
As such, Old Trafford needs a new hero to support. Reus heads into next season without Robert Lewandowski, with whom he has caused so much excitement for BVB fans across previous years. Lewandowski's move to Bayern highlights a division that is due to remain under Guardiola's spell for the foreseeable future, leaving players such as Reus struggling to land the silverware they deserve.
Although United face a daunting task of trying to wrestle back domestic bragging rights, Moyes may be able to sell the idea of his team's transition. Old Trafford still holds a real pulling power, even after the recent downfall, and should be able to attract a plethora of exciting stars during the summer overhaul.
Despite a lack of Champions League football, Moyes believes he will be able to land the type of quality United fans have grown to expect, per Telegraph Sport:
"Any players we've quietly discussed it with are more than happy to join Manchester United," said Moyes. "They know it's not a long-term thing."
This statement will only be rendered true if a player of Reus' quality is brought in. Moyes' dithering tactics, both on the field and in the transfer market, can finally be forgotten if he signs top-quality players who will inject United with a naturally attacking outlook.
Right now, the historic club is failing to fulfil any of the promises fans have come to expect. Should Reus be installed as the new No. 7, an iconic position on a global scale, Moyes may finally find the confidence to thrust his side toward the free-flowing, attractive football that made United's name popular under Sir Alex Ferguson.