Erik ten Hag has revealed the two roles that Sofyan Amrabat will fill in Manchester United’s midfield after the Morocco international’s arrival on deadline day.
The Fiorentina star arrived on a season-long loan on the final day of the summer window, although the move is still awaiting international clearance.
The 27-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford after United were snubbed in their efforts to bring in Barcelona’s Franck Kessie, who is now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia.
The Red Devils were looking to push through a deal for the Ivory Coast star earlier in the summer in order to bolster Ten Hag’s engine room and then offload one or two players to free up more space in the first-team squad.
However, Kessie declined the chance to move to England and joined Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli instead in a bargain £11million transfer.
That led Ten Hag to switch his focus solely on to Amrabat, who was a star at the Qatar World Cup as Morocco reached the last four.
And now Ten Hag confirmed following the defeat to Arsenal on Sunday that he wanted to sign a defensive midfielder since the start of the window. That appears to suggest he wanted a rival to Casemiro, but that is not the case -as the Dutchman stated.
Amrabat can play alongside Casemiro
He said: “It was already, from the start of the season, one of my wishes to get another [number] six, a holding midfielder, in the squad because through the season you need that depth there.
“In that position we only had Casemiro who can play really well there. With others we have to make compromises but, with Sofryan Amrabat, we have another one.
“Also he can play alongside Casemiro because he can also play a little bit higher on the pitch. So it’s very good to have him and I think he fits very good to Premier League football, to Champions League football. I think the demands are strong.
“He is very dynamic, he’s very good in the duels. So we are pleased that we have him at United and I think he will contribute to our high targets we set.”
Amrabat was not registered in time to face the Gunners last weekend, but Ten Hag is not frustrated at having to wait to get his man.
He added: “No, sometimes you have to wait for the right timing.”
Amrabat is likely to be in line for his Red Devils debut after the international break on September 16 when Ten Hag’s men take on high-flying Brighton in the Premier League.