Midfielders who can control the pace of the game are invaluable to their teams. Marco Verratti of Italy and PSG is a player that has grown from strength to strength since moving to the Parisians from Pescara in 2012. He was only a teenager back then, but had already established himself as a top playmaker in Italy’s second division. Verratti disregarded interest from several top Italian clubs to make the move to the Parc Des Princes and it’s a move that has clearly paid dividends.
He was earmarked to be Andrea Pirlo’s successor in the Italian national team and has so far lived up to that billing. At PSG, he has earned several accolades for his impeccable, uncomplicated performances in the centre of the park. Such valiant performances have seen him being linked with a move to the Premier League, where the Antonio Conte-managed Chelsea side will also be serious suitors.
Along with Conte, Jose Mourinho of Manchester United has been eyeing up a move for the midfield general, who only stands at 5’5, but has the heart of a giant. The Red Devils are currently lacking a top class defensive midfield option since the departure of Morgan Schniederlin to Everton in the January transfer window.
With Michael Carrick not getting any younger and Marouane Fellaini failing to produce the goods in a defensive midfield role, it’s inevitable that Mourinho will look to plug the hole in his defensive midfield by entering the transfer market. He need not look any further than PSG and Marco Verratti as the 24- year old Italian could be the perfect answer to United’s woes in midfield. Here are 3 valiant reasons why –
Verratti could be the perfect foil for Paul Pogba
World record signing Pogba has failed to light up Old Trafford as much as he’d have liked to, on his return to the Theatre of Dreams. There have been many reasons for his failures till date, but the lack of a suitable partner in midfield is what has lead to the predicament that Pogba finds himself in. The recent 1-1 draw with Bournemouth is a testament to Pogba’s failures as he missed several chances to win the game and looked below par.
During his uber-successful Bianconeri days, Pogba had a certain Pirlo to rely upon. The duo notched up several performances together and were crucial to Conte doing so well there. Pirlo had a very uncomplicated role, where he used to screen his back-four and allow Pogba the freedom to surge forward and have an impact on games. Verratti joining Manchester United could allow Pogba the same kind of freedom and confidence to succeed.
At 24, Verratti is still a long way off his peak
This could deceive many due to Verratti seemingly having been around forever. With all his experience, Verratti is still only 24 and has a good 10-12 years of professional football ahead of him. Manchester United would certainly benefit with such longevity as they are a team in transition following Mourinho’s arrival at the club.
The League Cup success should not suffice them and they should instead look at the victory and remind themselves of the glory days during Sir Alex’s reign, where such victories were a thing of usual occurrence. Signing Verratti would certainly help them in the long run.
Need for a certain balance in the team
Most of the recent signings at Old Trafford have been that of an offensive kind. As good and exciting as that is, Mourinho is an astute manager who is a master at game management. Having a pass master such as Verratti in his team would certainly allow him to control games the way he desires to.
The Italian is also an exceptional reader of the game and his interceptions could help Manchester United going forward as it is in midfield where they’ve been outnumbered recently. The inclusion of Verratti could afford the likes of Pogba, Martial, Mkhitaryan the freedom to concentrate on attacking duties.