Let’s analyse how Amrabat can fix Manchester United’s midfield problems. Manchester United’s struggles in away matches against top-tier opponents can be attributed, in part, to their midfield’s lack of resilience over the past 13 months. The team has leaned heavily on Casemiro’s defensive prowess, but at times, they’ve also been deficient in midfield mobility, leaving them vulnerable to stronger adversaries within Erik ten Hag’s starting lineup.
The arrival of World Cup standout Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina holds the potential to address United’s midfield concerns. Amrabat, a hard-working, aggressive, and well-rounded midfielder, is likely to form a formidable partnership with Casemiro in the middle of the pitch, particularly during challenging away fixtures.
Amrabat showcased his credentials as a natural ball-winner during his time in Qatar, but he also possesses exceptional passing abilities. In the previous Serie A season, his pass accuracy reached an impressive 89.3%, with many of his passes covering substantial distances. Notably, he successfully completed a league-leading 134 long passes out of every five he attempted.
While a significant portion of these long passes involved switching the play to the flanks, Amrabat also has the capability to deliver incisive long passes behind opposing defenses. This skill will be a boon to players like Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund, who thrive on their pace to make runs behind the defense.
Whenever Manchester United regains possession in their own half, watch for Amrabat to initiate quick, long passes aimed in their direction on the counter, often spanning 40-50 yards.
Amrabat’s remarkable stamina is another asset that can benefit the team. During the World Cup, he played in seven full matches for Morocco, covering more ground than any other player in the tournament, with a total of 81.4 kilometers and an average of 11.6 kilometers per match.
This extraordinary endurance will undoubtedly alleviate the workload on midfield partners Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes.
Amrabat’s defensive contributions are also noteworthy, as he led all midfielders at the World Cup with 57 regains and 26 recoveries inside the defensive third. Although his statistics at Fiorentina, a possession-oriented team, were more modest, his commitment to pressing and tackling is evident.
This aligns seamlessly with Ten Hag’s evolving tactical approach and is poised to create more opportunities for United to exploit their opponents during transitions.
The number of shots faced by Andre Onana so far this season is a concerning issue for Ten Hag, especially when compared to rival teams like Manchester City and Arsenal. However, the formidable midfield partnership of Amrabat and Casemiro is expected to bolster United’s defensive solidity when they are without possession.
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