Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

Man Utd

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Manchester United can scout a potential new signing in Declan Rice

2 min read

Historically, Manchester United are renowned for thrilling offensive football, and that is what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been trying to implement since his interim appointment in December 2018.

Bruno Fernandes has been added to the squad over the course of that period, and Mason Greenwood, although he is yet to find his best form this season, has evolved into a talented regular who is capable of playing alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack.

However, in order for attacking football to thrive and work as intended, the defensive foundations of the team must be strong and robust.

The more players that Solskjaer wants to join his attack, the more capable his defensive players must be when it comes to managing one-on-one situations, as offensive football often results in defenders having to cope in isolation.

Declan Rice is a player who United have looked at in the past, and he will line up against them this weekend as part of David Moyes’ West Ham outfit.


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While the midfielder isn’t necessarily the biggest name in the Premier League, he does possess defensive qualities that are valuable for teams who attack with countless players in the final third.

Rice has demonstrated a natural ability to cover ground for the Hammers in the centre of the park, with those wide open spaces being difficult to manage for those that have athletic limitations in comparison.

When it comes to recovering the ball, breaking up opposition moves and providing a platform for creative teammates to put the ball in the net, Rice is silently proving that he’d be capable of performing in such a role for one of the more dominant teams in England’s top-flight.

So far this season, the 21 year-old ranks third in the Premier League for interceptions by central midfielders behind only Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and N’Golo Kante having played every minute of the campaign.

He also places behind only 10 central midfielders for tackles won, and his contributions with the ball at his feet have evolved with time. Rice isn’t inclined to take risks or generate scoring opportunities for others, but he has certainly improved his ability to break lines with subtle forward passes.

Rice will form an integral part of West Ham’s stubborn defensive block on Saturday as United ‘s attack tries to break through and if he passes his audition, it could be a matter of time before he’s sweeping up in a much more expansive system behind Fernandes, Rashford and the likes.

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