United may be joint top of the league with Cristiano Ronaldo on his way, however, the midfield area still concerns, and Roy Keane has even predicted it could cost them
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return, alongside the spectacular arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Rapheal Varane, have prompted many to list Manchester United as one of the main title contenders.
However, Roy Keane has said United still have problems in the midfield in comparison with their rivals.
The straight-talking Irishman offered a scathing verdict of holding midfielder Fred, after his performance against Wolves.
After scoring a sweeping goal in United’s opening day 6-1 victory against Leeds United, the Brazilian midfielder has since scored an own goal away to Southampton and struggled against Wolves.
And Keane appears to have kept an extra special eye on the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, with the former United captain himself even saying he is tired of talking about him.
“I don’t want to mention Fred again because I seem to be on his case all the time,” said the former United captain.
“I think if you want to play for a big team in midfield you’ve got to hang your hat on something to say well, ‘you’re brilliant at going forward, or brilliant defensively or he’s got a goal in him’ – I don’t see any of them in Fred.
McTominay is set for a significant spell on the sidelines after having an operation on his groin.
He normally partners Fred in a midfield pivot; protecting the back four, however, the Scotsman’s injury means the Brazilian has had to play as a sole defensive midfielder.
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While United managed to secure the victory against Wolves at the Molineux, Bruno Lage’s side could have, and perhaps should have won the match.
Solskjaer’s side may have commanded the lion’s share of possession, but the Midlanders tore through United on the counterattack almost at will.
Francisco Trincao would have put Wolves in front, were it not for a miraculous goal line clearance by Aaron Wan Bissaka.
David De Gea also made an equally incredible double save from Roman Saiss, and United’s goal through Mason Greenwood arguably came against the run of play.
Fred was often swamped by Wolves’ pacey counterattacks, particularly by Spanish international Adama Traore who consistently drove past the Brazilian midfielder.
United will likely miss McTominay, however, even with the 24-year-old available, Keane admits he is not sure what The Red Devil’s best midfield is.
“The answer I’m going to give you is: I don’t know. And that’s a problem in itself,” said the former United captain.
“You look at a lot of the teams, the top teams they go with the two or three players they think they’ve got.
“With United it’s hit and miss Pogba, for all his talent, there are question marks over him defensively.
“So I wouldn’t know what the best combination is, and that’s a problem in itself.
“I think that’s exactly where they’ll fall short, and the goalkeeper.”
United’s next fixtures will see them host Newcastle United, followed by a tricky trip to Switzerland to face Swiss side Young Boys in the Champions League.