Defensive midfield should be one of Manchester United’s top priorities this summer.
But with a big change in the pipeline for winger Jadon Sancho, as well as goals in right-back and center-back (The Athletic), it’s unclear how a midfield move fits into United’s plans right now.
It is clear that a move would be too expensive for Declan Rice, so United will have to look for alternatives.
Last week we made the decision on Sporting midfielder Joao Palhinha as an option United should consider. Now is the time to take a look at another option that will play in Euro 2020, Marcelo Brozovic.
(Photo by Sportinfoto / DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Why would United want him?
Brozovic is a proven quality player who won the Serie A title with Inter Milan this year.
He has also played in a World Cup final for Croatia and will face England at Euro 2020 next weekend.
Brozovic is the main midfielder supporting Inter’s midfield role and he would be an excellent partner for Paul Pogba and would reduce reliance on the duo Fred and Scott McTominay.
He is a player with good passing range and made six assists last season, the fourth-highest in the Inter team.
Interesting are the current financial topics from Inter. The Serie A champions still owe Manchester United money on the Romelu Lukaku deal, The Mail reported in March.
United could potentially try to get a deal for Brozovic out of the fee owed by Inter if the club wanted to get creative. This would free up the rest of the budget for other positions.
Where would it fit?
Brozovic is at his peak at 28 and five years younger than Nemanja Matic.
It might not be a long-term answer, but it would be an upgrade for Matic that seems to overcome it.
Brozovic could come and help United right away, unlike a younger player who may take some time to catch up or who may never reach the required level.
The Croatian played 33 of 38 Serie A games last season and is a player Inter can rely on. Last season, Nemanja Matic became a minor matter for United and Brozovic would be an instant upgrade younger and better.
The biggest pluses …
Brozovic’s experience throughout his career is a huge selling point, as is his willingness to make an immediate difference.
He is confident after a strong season and United could use a player like this, a winner.
Brozovic is strong in possession and completed 89 percent of his passes in Serie A, while FB Ref reports that he has had the seventh highest number of ball contacts of the season.
FB Ref ranks Brozovic among the top 10 percent of midfielders in the top five leagues in Europe for “progressive passes” and the top nine percent for “goal-generating actions”.
Brozovic is a sustained midfielder with a touch of Michael Carrick in his game, a player who can pass from the depths and launch attacks that Fred and McTominay struggle with.
Getting a good midfielder to contribute immediately could convince Paul Pogba to stay rather than sign a player who is more of a “project” to play by his side.
(Photo by Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images)
The biggest minus point …
One of the big reasons not to switch is also one of the positive aspects – your age.
There’s a reason United reportedly investigating Declan Rice because the West Ham star could potentially get rid of the position for the next 10 years.
Brozovic would be a stopgap solution that would leave United more work later.
That didn’t stop United from switching for Edinson Cavani last summer and Brozovic could be the missing piece United needs in midfield for at least the next three seasons.
At a moment when United’s midfield plans are unclear, Brozovic would be a left field fix and a quick fix. At this stage it would be wise to be open-minded.
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