Man United Should Target Riyad Mahrez Or Mesut Ozil This January

We all know Jose Mourinho wanted another new recruit this summer, with a winger top of his wish-list.

A move for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic fell through when Manchester United failed to reach an agreeable transfer fee with the Serie A club.

The Portuguese boss clearly felt his squad still lacked an extra creative spark to help kill teams off or get through sturdy defences.

United struggled to make chances in their toughest away fixtures in the Premier League so far this season. Jose’s men failed to breach either Liverpool or Chelsea’s goal and that meant they drew with their Merseyside rivals and lost at Stamford Bridge.

Paul Pogba’s injury has helped curtail Man United’s attacking impetus from midfield.

Major summer signing Romelu Lukaku hasn’t scored in his last seven appearances for the Old Trafford club. While the Belgian has missed a few decent chances in those games, it has to be said that he’s not received the best of service as of late.

It should also be noted that playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has had a slump of form in the same timeframe as he hasn’t created an assist in that time. The Armenian has went missing in some of his side’s bigger games away from home.

League leaders Manchester City have a squad full of talented, creative stars. Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are the Premier League’s leading assist makers, while Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling have came on leaps and bounds this term. They even have Yaya Toure to come in and make a difference if needed.

City are now eight points ahead of United in the league table. That’s a fairly big gap.

I’d not be surprised if Mourinho decides to enter the transfer market this January and look to improve his squad by bringing in another star who is capable of finding the killer pass.

Going back in for Croatian international Perisic could be tempting but Inter are currently challenging for the Scudetto and would be even more reluctant to sell one their best players.

Usually in the winter window it’s better to look at purchasing from your own domestic league as that eases the bedding in period for the new signing.

With that in mind, two creative talents spring to mind; Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

Ozil is a player Jose knows well from his Real Madrid days.

During that spell in Spain, Mourinho stated this about the German:

“He’s an ambitious boy with a feeling for magic passes.”

Mourinho believes that Ozil reacts better with confidence and belief that he can make a difference on the park. Jose would do his up most to give Mesut that if he ended up at Old Trafford.

While people moan that the World Cup winner doesn’t try enough or go in for tackles, he has actually done well in England’s top flight with his assist record. In his three full seasons at the Emirates, the midfield maestro has created thirty-three league assists.

United could have him starting on the left and then give him some freedom to get on the ball and supply Lukaku with plenty of ammunition.

We know Jose likes his players to be disciplined and defensive minded but you can’t win games with that mentality all the time. Ozil’s contribution going forward with his vision for a key pass would be why he’d arrive in Manchester. He’d receive more protection with Nemanja Matic and Pogba playing behind him

Man United’s manager will have to ask himself if Mesut is now a bit damaged after some of the criticism he’s received in recent years. He’s also now twenty-nine years of age, is that him hitting his peak or is he entering his declining years?

The German’s contract is up next summer and that might mean that a deal can be done at a cut-price fee in January.

That being said, we know that there’s no love lost between Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and Mourinho. That could prove problematic when trying to do a deal. Plus Arsenal might be vying for a top four position and might feel they need to keep all their best players in their bid to complete that goal.

Another option could be for United to make an approach for the Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez.

The Algerian was the club’s top performer during Leicester’s Premier League triumph in 2016. During that campaign the wideman created eleven assists as well as scoring seventeen times. He did have a lull in form last season but he did do well in the Champions League campaign that year.

This season he already has four assists and two goals in his first ten starts in the league.

Unlike Ozil, Mahrez can offer electrifying pace. The Premier League winner also has the ability of playing on either wing or through the middle. At twenty-six years of age, he seems ready to make a move to a bigger club.

He’s has proven himself as a difference maker at the highest level and United need that kind of craft and vision within their ranks at the minute.

The player handed in a transfer request this summer and supposedly has a price tag of £40m. That fee could be a bargin if Mahrez were to help United close the gap on City!

It will be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho does indeed enter the transfer market after the hectic Christmas period and go after a difference maker who can help change tight games and give Romelu Lukaku more chances to put away!

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