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Crouch: Leeds ace Phillips or West Ham midfielder Rice makes Manchester United a genuine title contender

Peter Crouch has told the Mail that West Ham star Declan Rice or Leeds man Kalvin Phillips makes Manchester United genuine title contenders.

Phillips and Rice were sensational as a double pivot for England in the summer, as the Three Lions reached the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

Both players are currently indispensable to their current clubs. Last season, Leeds lost seven of the nine league games they played without Phillips.

A quite incredible stat, especially given Leeds actually finished in ninth. Had he been fit for those nine, who knows where they could have gone.

The Star say that Phillips is a £60million target for United, while Rice is being linked with bigger clubs. Reports say he will not sign a new deal.

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Speaking about United, ex-England striker Crouch believes that if the Old Trafford side had Phillips or Rice – they would be challenging for the title.

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“Put Rice or Phillips in there — spending another huge amount on a signing — it arguably becomes the strongest group in the league,” Crouch said.

“That is why it is baffling, with just a central midfielder lacking, that we do not really believe — not when pressed — they can go on and win this title.”

Do Leeds and West Ham stars Phillips and Rice take United to title, as Crouch says?

Without a doubt. United lack that midfielder that can spray a pass, be the lynchpin or quarter-back – the star at the top of the midfield tree.

Scott McTominay is the ideal no.6. He has incredible energy, work rate, the odd goal, wins headers and tackles and can pass. Fred is not good enough.

Nemanja Matic used to be able to do it but his legs are going, while Paul Pogba cannot be trusted in his own half. United need a Phillips, or a Rice.

Phillips is probably the one more suited to what United need – that player that sits, and can spray pass out to the likes of Jadon Sancho.

Rice is becoming more attacking of late. If you were to pick one, given what United need, though, it would be Phillips given his two-iron passing.

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