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Manchester United in the driving seat for German star

After a stellar showing at the 2017 Confederations Cup during the summer Schalke midfielder, Leon Goretzka became a hot commodity. With rumors linking him to clubs throughout Europe, the 22-year-old German decided to take a more patient route. Instead of maneuvering for a move to the first big club that expressed interest, Goretzka is running down his contract. Making him a free agent in the Summer of 2018 and it appears Manchester United are quite interested in his services. The Sun reported:

“Manchester United are reportedly in the driving seat to sign . . . Goretzka after Barcelona pulled out of the race for his services.”

While the Catalan side does not believe Goretzka is good enough for their first team, the German international could be a great fit in Jose Mourinho’s squad.

Standing at 189 cm’s, Goretzka would certainly fit into a United squad which already includes the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, and Nemanja Matic. Allowing United to continue to use their height advantage to damaging effect and making for great Instagram posts by Juan Mata.

While The Sun, and other news outlets, are claiming Goretzka would be a replacement for the aging Michael Carrick, they are far from a like for like replacement. At Schalke, Goretzka broke through playing slightly deeper and using his size and positional awareness to shield the defense. However, in the last two seasons, Goretzka has been moved into a more attacking role and has flourished as a result. In 37 appearances last season, Goretzka contributed eight goals and four assists. Doubling his output from the prior season.

Strong in possession and nearly impossible to move off the ball, Goretzka can contribute on both the defensive and attacking end. Making him an effective number eight who is excellent at transitioning the ball from defence to attack.

Goretzka could operate quite well as a number eight in a 4-3-3, alongside Pogba and Matic, but also could play as a number 10 in a 4-2-3-1. Mourinho could use him similar to how he deploys Fellaini further forward. Exploiting his size and technical ability close to goal could be devastating.

As he continues to develop, his size and tactical intelligence we could see him be a long-term replacement for Matic, even though that is not his most natural position. However, if United are seriously going to make a run at signing Goretzka on a free this season, it would likely see him play in a more advanced position.

With Barcelona in flux both at the boardroom and governmental level, United would be wise to try and take advantage of their dysfunction. If they do decide to pursue Goretzka, he could establish a long and successful career at the club.

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