Manchester United: Mourinho must stick with Pereira, Fred and Pogba this Sunday
Although it may be something of a gamble, Mourinho should persist with his attacking midfield three.
Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
In the modern era of Manchester United, Brazilian superstars have been relatively scarce.
Barring the cult heroes Anderson and Rafael Da Silva, Old Trafford has never really boasted a typical tricky Brazilian.
This may be a contributing factor behind why so many United fans are quickly warming to both Andreas Pereira and Fred, who made their Premier League debuts for the club last Friday night against Leicester.
But should the two become regulars in the Manchester United side?
The magic touch
During the Premier League’s opening fixture, both Brazilians showed signs of promise. The two certainly fit the national stereotype: technically gifted midfielders with a trick or two up their sleeves.
Operating in the number six position, Pereira impressed with his maturity on the ball, neat and tidy in possession and moving the ball around well, looking right at home on his league debut.
Fred was equally as impressive, showcasing his attributes in carrying the ball forward from deep and constantly looking positive whenever he had the ball at his feet.
At times last season, the side were painfully slow in building up play through the middle and so the style and fluidity between the two midfielders was certainly received well by the Old Trafford faithful.
PogBack vol. 2
Despite both Fred and Pereira impressing, it was their other central midfield partner, Paul Pogba, who stole many of the headlines on Friday night.
During the game, Pogba ran the show, scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot and the whole time dictating play from the middle of the park.
Having returned to the club this summer after a long World Cup campaign and lacking any pre-season run-outs, Pogba was impressive during the 2-1 victory.
A self-assured Pogba is like a new signing for Manchester United and fans were delighted to see the midfielder carry his excellent World Cup form into his performance in a Red Devil shirt.
Breaking down Brighton
Brought together into a midfield unit, Pereira, Fred and Pogba have all the attributes to become a force to be reckoned with this season.
With Pereira sitting deeper, both Fred and Pogba will be allowed some freedom to roam around the centre of the park, finding space and releasing attackers higher up the field or driving forward with the ball at the feet themselves.
This will be pivotal against Brighton, a team who will sit deep and attempt to frustrate Manchester United. With Fred and Pogba freed up, Mourinho will hope his side will find it easier to break down the Seagulls defence on Sunday.
The only potential spanner in the works is the potential inclusion of Nemanja Matic in the matchday squad. A player who Mourinho likes to deploy as the anchorman in the side whenever he’s match fit, the Serbian is undoubtedly a solid option for United’s side.
Pereira, though, does have the better distributional qualities which should help break down sides like Brighton who sit deeper and are well-structured.
The answer to Mourinho’s woes?
The decision to operate with the three technical midfielders may help Mourinho himself establish a recognisable system and, more importantly, an attacking identity at Old Trafford, something that the Portuguese has failed to do during his three-year tenure at the club.
All three of Pereira, Fred and Pogba relish getting on the ball and going forward. As such, they could hold the potential to reignite an attacking spirit at United.
Despite it being a bold choice, Mourinho should stick with the three this coming Sunday.
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