Reports have said that Nemanja Matic will leave Manchester United at the end of the season after five years at the club. This should mean that the club will look for more than one midfield player in the coming transfer market.
Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reported that the Serbian midfielder could be one of ten possible departures for United this summer, and Jonathan Shrager has backed that claim up by saying that Matic will leave the club in the summer, as it stands.
Wheeler also mentioned that United want to strengthen the core of their side with signings at centre-back, centre-midfield and striker. However, the depth in United’s midfield suggest that a single midfield signing would not be enough for next season.
Paul Pogba is likely to leave the club after his deal runs out in the summer, and with Matic moving on alongside the Frenchman, it leaves United with just two first-team midfield players would can operate deeper: Fred and Scott McTominay.
James Garner could be ready for a role at the club after a successful year on loan with Nottingham Forest, but United will need recruitment in midfield nevertheless.
Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic has reported that agents have been told that two midfielders are what the club is looking for, alongside a striker and a right-winger.
It is quite clear that Manchester United need reinforcements in the centre of the pitch, but it will be necessary for two players in this position to join the club if the 32-year-old Serbian is to leave the club at the end of the season. McTominay is not a deep midfielder, yet lacks the strengths over Fred to play as the number eight.
Both quality and depth are needed in the middle at Old Trafford, amongst other things, of course. While one midfield addition could be good enough for a year as long as other areas are strengthened, the loss of the ageing Matic would leave United’s midfield department paper-thin, which is why two recruitments would be crucial ahead of Erik ten Hag’s debut campaign at United.