“I think he can play deeper and United’s players in that position – Fred, [Scott] McTominay, [Nemanja] Matic – have all done okay. But if [Thiago] was there… I think he’s clever enough to intercept, read the game and do the things that a holding midfielder can. You don’t need to be six feet tall, tackle and quick to play in that position anymore. You just need to be intelligent and understand the game, and he’s got that in abundance.”
Rather than pursuing a move for Thiago, United opted to stick with the advanced tandem of Pogba and Fernandes – a move that hasn’t yielded the kind of success that the club would have hoped for. And with Pogba now looking likely to quit the club again – without making any type of significant impact – United are essentially back to square one with their midfield plans.
The likes of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips – just two of the names who have been linked with the club – are likely to cost United a handsome sum; far more than the £27m that Liverpool eventually snapped up Thiago for. And with Pogba set to depart the club without United receiving a single penny in compensation, United have been made to pay in more ways than one by snubbing a move for Thiago, who has been the driving force of Liverpool’s recent title bid.