Manchester United paid a small fortune to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford, but things haven’t worked out between the club and the talented French midfielder. It now appears that United are actively looking to purchase a like-for-like replacement for Pogba this summer.
The target of the club’s affection is Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi. He isn’t on Pogba’s level in terms of natural talent, but his style of play may make him a more productive player for United. Specifically, Ndidi is content to sit back and play as a classic defensive midfielder. Pogba has frequently found that role to be too stifling.
Ndidi isn’t the only midfielder United are interested in to take Pogba’s place in the squad. Ajax star Donny van de Beek has also been strongly linked with a move to England this summer. Neither player will be a cheap acquisition for the Red Devils. It remains to be seen what either Leicester or Ajax might want in exchange for their talented midfielders.
Ndidi is the better option for United though. He’s only 23-years-old and he’s already proven he can handle the challenges of playing in the Premier League. His excellent work in the middle of the pitch has helped power the Foxes to third place in the current standings. He’s never going to be an offensive force, but his speed and physicality allow him to dictate proceedings from deep in the midfield.
Ironically, Ndidi’s ability to fill N’Golo Kante’s shoes at Leicester is a big reason why United are interested in his services. They’d love to add a younger version of Kante to their own ranks. Neither player is the flashiest midfielder in Europe, but both have a tremendous ability to help their respective squads grind out wins.
In the end, United need to find more balance in their midfield. Pogba doesn’t have the defensive discipline to play with more productive attackers like Bruno Fernandes. That means purchasing a classic defensive midfielder will be the club’s top priority this summer. Selling Pogba for a fortune and reinvesting part of the proceeds to buy Ndidi would be great business for Manchester United.