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Why Ten Hag is living on borrowed time

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Do Manchester United Actually Need to Sign 6ft 3in Frenchman

The latest reports emerging in the ongoing transfer mill suggest that Manchester United are ready to make a bid for central midfielder Steven N’Zonzi. The 6ft 3in Frenchman is also keen on a move back to Premier League as he recently declared his love for playing in the English top flight. But do United actually need to sign him?

The former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City midfielder has plenty of Premier League experience having accumulated 206 top-flight games. This stat also includes 195 starts showing how vital he was in both of the sides he played for. He is obviously very keen on building on his experiences in England but would he find his chances limited at Old Trafford?

In a Jose Mourinho formation, you will find three places available for the heart of the midfield. However, he already has eight players in contention for those three places. With Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ander Herrera,  Scott McTominay and Michael Carrick all available. Admittedly the last two have been bit part players this season but would still provide competition for N’Zonzi.

The 28-year old (29 next month) has featured on a regular basis for Sevilla and is considered a vital cog in the Spanish side. He is very calm and assured on the ball preferring to play a short pass to a teammate as he looks to play percentage football over high risk. However, his physicality in midfield and ability to win aerial battles is what will have attracted Mourinho to him; especially if Fellaini leaves in the summer on a free.

Despite all the positives around N’Zonzi, he does lack goals from midfield especially if he is playing alongside Nemanja Matic which would present a slightly negative Manchester United, with both players wanting to dictate the play and break up the opposition. But at the same time, it is not his job to score goals; it is his job to help supply the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku to find the back of the net.

If Manchester United do make a move for the Europa League winner, they will either have to make it abundantly clear that he will not start all the time or they will have to offload a player from their side. Then it is up to N’Zonzi if he wants to be an extra player in the squad or be a guaranteed starter for the 20 times league champions.

With his latest revelation of loving life in the Premier League, it has also alerted other teams such as Arsenal and leaders Manchester City to pay close attention to the now French international; despite Sam Allardyce’s best efforts. You feel if he is ambitious and would prefer to play more often than not, a move to Arsenal would be the best fit for him.

However, Manchester United might be willing to offload players to facilitate the move, for example, Carrick at the end of the season or McTominay on loan to allow N’Zonzi to challenge for a place in the starting XI.

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