With Marcos Rojo getting injured early in the first half against Anderlecht, United are now fearing for the security in the back and we are looking to the options to replace him. Eric Bailly and Daley Blind formed the partnership against Anderlecht when Rojo departed, but the Dutch doesn’t seem to offer much security and that’s why we are not sure if that’s the duo United will play until the Argentine is back.
There are a few options in the first team to replace Marcos Rojo, such as Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick and surprisingly Paul Pogba. However, these aren’t the only options as we have Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe and Regan Poole from the academy, but Jose will probably go for experience rather than youth considering the important matches ahead.
Causing Jose Mourinho a terrible headache, he will have to make his decision quickly as we face Burnley in the weekend. Let’s have a look at the options one by one, who will be the best option to suit the heart of defense with Eric Bailly:
We start the list with the name of the player who replaced Rojo. This season Blind has been used as a left-back and yet hasn’t given much security to Jose to make him first choice. We have seen him playing last season as a centre-back and to be quite fair he surely needs back up, as, despite United’s best game reader after Carrick, Blind isn’t someone who you can rely on. He suffers a lot in one on one, this has been evident this season. As for the game against Anderlecht, he however, did a great job and never went for the trouble. Full-time replacement for Rojo? He started his career as a centre-back, but not sure whether he is ready to do the immense job, Rojo did.
It’s not such an unusual position for Michael Carrick as he’s got the credibility of defending well, stopping the opponent and tackling. One of the reasons we always like to watch him is the fresh air to the midfield but nothing seems to work without Ander Herrera there. Going back to the defence issue, Michael Carrick won’t be able to do good enough as for a player of his ages, handling strikers will be really difficult. If we have a look at the fixtures, even Carrick would say no to that place. He’s a bit slow and not sure that he would do it. Not saying that he can’t tactically but velocity is an important fact these days.
It may seem like a crazy idea, but when it comes to Jose Mourinho nothing should surprise you anymore. There’s still a big debate regarding Pogba whether he has lived up his prize, Jose Mourinho took the time and said that he can handle every position:
“He’s a top player and I think he could be a phenomenal central defender, with the quality of his pass, his aerial game, his agility in such a big body.
“For the defensive side of the game, coming from the back with the ball he could be a phenomenal central defender. He can play in so many positions.”
Jose might be right, based on the characteristics he can, but not quite sure if this man would handle criticism off his spine again. He is versatile and his statistics do help him, but going for him right, could be extremely dangerous.
It could be the turning point of his and Manchester United’s season. We play for Europe, he plays for a place in this Manchester United team. Until Sunday, despite being a big fan of the Italian I was almost sure that he really needs to go, but the way he handled Pedro, as the third centre-back was something in a whole new level. Probably the best game he has had in a United shirt. Decent blocks and Pedro just like Hazard and co was completely shut down. Based on what I have seen from him in Italy, he is more than capable of doing the job. The only real thing I worry is the system when it comes to him. He is immense but came in here in the wrong time. Yet, this could change it all. Knowing Jose, he might go for Darmian and actually have success.
From experience, a special mention we must give to our talented youngsters from the academy. In here three make the break as possible choices:
A man in need of minutes, Fosu – Mensah in his really early days was a central defender, making a good impression on everyone who saw him. He defends quite well and the way he pushes forward has also been noticed by the managers who managed him in the academy. Holding to get his chance, Fosu – Mensah seems to have found the perfect moment. He is always around the first team and probably one of those who can win the manager’s trust. We haven’t seen much of him this season, but yet his games last season have a left a good taste of what we can expect from him.
In the last article I wrote on mixing youth with experience, Tuanzebe was key to the fact that we needed to understand that not everyone will be mentioned every time. Probably, this time has come and we are need of a central defender. Still young, Axel has a lot to learn, but with the situation given we need a solution. His movement with the ball is ridiculously good and decent for a central midfielder, his tackles are great and he doesn’t fear to go on and face the opponent.
Jose has praised him but maybe it’s time to give him a chance.
He has grown a lot lately I must admit that, but his temperament and attitude don’t feel correct. Recently, Poole played with the U19’s in Dallas Cup messed it all around as he was sent off and also in the first showed big issues once again as he wasn’t linking with his teammates well. He was kind of lost. Jose simply doesn’t like that and he definitely isn’t consistent enough, something that has been proven during the season, raising a lot of questions, certainly saying to Poole that he needs to become a better player. Definitely not the best answer.
Out of all the options handed Jose may choose to go with experience rather than youth and we get it, but despite Rojo’s amazing work rate, we need a replacement and it’s urgent to find one now. Blind may face Burnley but not City Arsenal and on the other side, Darmian can get you out of the situation, but AI he keep it long? It’s all up to Jose Mourinho now.