Manchester United v Everton: Match in pictures
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Manchester United can get a fresh look at a potential solution to their issues in central midfield when France take on Belgium in the semi-finals of the Nations League on Thursday night. It comes as two problems have increasingly come to light over the early stages of the season.
Les Bleus finished top of Group 3 of League A to book their place in the final stage of the tournament which is being held in Italy.
France face Belgium in their semi-final at the Allianz Arena, with N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of the match after testing positive for COVID-19.
If Didier Dechamps sticks with a 4-3-3 formation, that could see Aurelian Tchouameni line-up alongside Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot in central midfield.
Tchouameni has been a target of United’s for some time, with the Red Devils heavily linked with a move for the 21-year-old in the summer transfer window.
He has starred for Monaco since moving to the Principality from Bordeaux in the January 2019 transfer window.
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The young Frenchman has become a regular starter under Niko Kovac, helping the club to secure a third-place finish last season.
His performances for the Monégasque side saw him named in the Ligue 1 team of the year and crowned the French top-flight’s young player of the year.
He has continued to impress this season, featuring in all 15 of Monaco’s matches so far this term, starting all but one of them.
Those displays, in which he has scored twice, saw him handed his international debut during the first set of World Cup qualifiers of the season.
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And he has once again been called-up by Dechamps for the upcoming international break, with Tchouameni a leading contender to take Kante’s place in midfield against Belgium.
If he does indeed feature at the Allianz Stadium, it will give United a fresh look at a solution to their seemingly never-ending central midfield problems.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has attempted to adapt to a 4-3-3 formation this season, but none of Scott McTominay, Fred or Nemanja Matic have proven they can be relied upon in a sole holding role.
Fred in particular has proven to be a disastrous signing, with the Brazilian clearly unsuited to playing for a team of United’s stature.
The second problem that has emerged is the contract situation of Tchouameni’s international team-mate Pogba.
The Frenchman’s contract will expire at the end of this season and he appears to be set to depart Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are likely to turn to the transfer market in a bid to find a solution to their issues in the midfield department.
Declan Rice is thought to be their top target, but his hefty price tag could force United to turn to cheaper options, among them Tchouameni who will be available for £34million.
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