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Why Manchester United is so keen on Milinkovic-Savic

Following Nemanja Vidic and Nemanja Matic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be Manchester United's next big player from Serbia. Will he be able to restore the club back to it's former 'elite-among-elite' status?

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Last updated: 30.07.2019
Why Manchester United is so keen on Milinkovic-Savic | Sports Social Blog

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be the next Serbian player to make it big at Old Trafford after Nemanja Vidic and Nemanja Matic(still lending) lent their talents to the Reddevils. Manchester United is looking to reverse all the negativity surrounding their post-Sir Alex Ferguson-years (especially this past season) with some big moves. They recently signed Aaron Wan Bissaka, who has proved to be very impressive in the pre-season and while they are attached to almost every big name under the Sun, Milinkovic-Savic’s move to England seems to be less shrouded in ambiguity(huge number of outlets reporting a potential deal within the works). The 24-year-old has proved to a very impressive central midfielder in his days in the Serie A and Man Utd fans will be hoping he puts on the iconic red jersey.

 

Talent and Numbers:

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Milinkovic-Savic is an atypical central midfielder and Lazio was all the better for it. There’s no end to his strengths and the best part is all of them fit perfectly with his position as a central midfielder. His dribbling and ball control are very strong and it is difficult to get the ball away from him and his strength makes it all the more difficult. The Serbian is great at picking out players in tough situations, leading him to play some brilliant through balls and key passes throughout the Serie A season. His long-range shooting is also very clinical and he has scored a few goals as a result. He can play a false nine position if the situation calls for it and his finishing is good enough to put the ball in the back of the net. Couple that with his ability to run back and defend aggressively disorienting the opposition’s attack and it covers a lot of important bases. He is surprisingly very attack-intensive for the Serie A, a league that is more synonymous with defence.

 

The Serbian has a lot of skills and as a result, has put up some great numbers in his most recent season. He scored 5 goals in 31 matches along with 3 assists. As mentioned earlier, he has a propensity to attack a lot, averaging 2.5 shots per match. His passing is brilliant with 1.5 key passes across the season in the league. He also averaged an impressive 1.1 dribbles over the course of the 2018-19 season. Even defensively he had 1.4 tackles and 1.5 clearances proving how much of an asset he can be to the current Man United squad.


 

The primary downside is that he has a tendency to overexert his aggression and as a result has accrued a lot of cards this past season, with 7 yellows and 1 red. That is too high for comfort considering he played 31 games, two of which were as a substitute. He has to work on reducing those numbers.

 

Factoring in at Old Trafford:

 

Herrera already left Manchester United and Pogba may follow suit, the latter being their biggest contributor last season (9 assists and 13 goals) despite bearing the brunt of a lot of the criticism directed at the squad after a trophyless season. That leaves Fred, Matic and McTominay. It is easy to picture Milinkovic-Savic playing the game with a few of those players. Fred is the slightly more aggressive player of the bunch and Man United can double down on attack and that would help them play some aggressive playstyles. He could provide a more balanced playstyle with McTominay by his side. Nemanja Matic has been a more defense-oriented player and that would allow Solskjaer to disorient the defence with a mix of aggression from Milinkovic-Savic and Nemanja Matic providing cover and holding the fort. He could link up with the front players like Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, etc. because of his excellent passing skills and ability to play false-9. His integration would allow Manchester United to change playstyles and formations on the fly, like aggressive variants of 4-3-3, 3-4-1-2 and 4-4-2. Add to that, the fact that he’s a young player (24) and it’s no wonder why the figure being thrown around is in the £80 million ballparks.

 

In the end, if those go down a favourable route for the Reddevils, then they have a shot at regaining some semblance of the glory that was ever-present during the SAF years. Patrons will be clamoring to see Milinkovic-Savic represent Manchester United as the PL season commences very soon. 

 

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