Former Man Utd enforcer Paul Ince has name-checked an Atletico Madrid midfielder who can become a legend at Old Trafford, though has reservations over the club’s pursuit of Jack Grealish.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad appears to be coming together nicely, with the January addition of Bruno Fernandes breathing new life into their attacking play.
With nine clean sheets in their last 11 outings, their once-maligned defence also appears to have turned the corner.
Despite this, ex Man Utd midfielder Ince doesn’t see many within the current squad that can become ‘heroes’ or ‘legends’ of the club.
Speaking on the current state of the squad, Ince said (via the Daily Star): “What United fans want is exciting players and heroes in their team,” he said.
“There hasn’t been enough of those in recent years at United. You look at Manchester City. They’ve got Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva – at least three legends.
“It’s the same now with Liverpool. United don’t have that at the moment.
One player who fits Ince’s bill is Atletico Madrid talisman Saul Niguez.
Man Utd have previously been linked with a £70m move for the Spanish international, though the club are expected to be resolute in refusing to accept anything less than the player’s £130m release clause.
Ince continued: “I’ve watched Niguez for the last two or three years and I really like him. He’s got a lovely build and can score some special goals. There’s a culture about him and he’s still young with plenty of potential
“The thing is, he won’t be cheap – that’s for sure.
“And, if you look to get him in, you have to think about what happens to Paul Pogba. There’s also talk about Felix, but he struggled in Spain – and there’s still a ferocity to the Premier League.
“You’ve got to think about if they can come in and play straight away.”
Rumours of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish being Man Utd-bound have gathered pace lately, with one report detailing the unusual way in which he would be deployed in the Utd setup.
Ince has concerns over the balance of the team if too many forward-thinking players are utilised, however, adding: “Do I see him as a United player? Well, I could also see him at City or Liverpool. Tottenham also wanted him not so long ago.
“There will be plenty of suitors for Grealish. We’re all saying United, but he’d fit in with any team in the top five.
“But all this talk of creative players, you’ve got to be careful about getting the balance – you still need a defensive block. They need someone who can cover space – like an N’Golo Kante or Roy Keane.
“Look at what Klopp has done with Liverpool, he’s got things in perfect harmony.
“That’s what Solskjaer is now trying to do. You always need that defensive element in there. I’m just happy United are now in the market for these types of players again.
“But will they challenge next season? I’m still not sure.”