Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘is plotting a Manchester United tactical overhaul’: Ending Scott McTominay and Fred’s midfield partnership, allowing him to play Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes AND Paul Pogba… and throwing Donny van de Beek a lifeline
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is working on an attacking 4-3-3 formation for next season
- A report in ESPN says the coach wants to stop playing two holding midfielders
- The news could spell the end of the Fred-Scott McTominay midfield partnership
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing his Manchester United players for a big change in tactics for the coming season in favour of an ultra-attacking 4-3-3 formation, according to a report in ESPN.
The report says the Norwegian is considering doing away with his trusted midfield partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay and will play just one holding midfielder in order to find a way to play new signing Jadon Sancho and star midfielders Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same starting 11.
And the report says that the club must sign a top, ball-playing centreback to make the plan work, with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane top of the club’s list.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to play a more attacking formation next season, says ESPN
The new shape could see new arrival Jadon Sancho (pictured) play in a front three
Solskjaer deployed a pretty consistent starting line-up last season as the team finished second in the Premier League and reached the final of the Europa League and played a double pivot of McTominay and Fred 28 times in all competitions.
But with the club looking to build a proper title bid for next season and to go deep in the Champions League after getting knocked out of the group stage last year, he is looking to freshen up his side and make them more attacking so new signing Sancho can sparkle.
A three-man midfield could also throw a lifeline to Donny van de Beek, who only made a desperately disappointing three Premier League starts last season following a £40m move from Ajax.
Some fans grew tired of Solskjaer’s 4-2-3-1 shape over the season and they will be delighted with the prospect of a more offensive formation, although the team could lose some of the stability that comes with playing two defensive midfielders.
Scott McTominay (pictured) has been a regular fixture alongside Brazilian Fred in midfield
The shift could benefit Donny van de Beek (pictured), who made three league starts last term
That is why the club are so keen to bring in a world class central defender to come forward and provide extra support to the midfield.
Varane, who has one year left on his deal with Real, is believed to be United’s top choice, with the ESPN report saying Real would be open to negotiations with United should the Frenchman decide against penning a new contract.
Real may be reluctant to let Varane go after parting ways with Sergio Ramos, although they have already brought in a top class defender in David Alaba and Eder Militao made huge strides in his development last season.
The Spaniards have also recently tied stalwart defender Nacho to a new deal, so they could be ready to let Varane leave for the right price to boost their finances as they balance paying for their costly renovation of their Santiago Bernabeu stadium.