Is Isco exactly what Manchester United need, or would he impede Paul Pogba further?
Manchester United fans could be forgiven for thinking that after a summer of heavy spending, with the arrivals of the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, they would not have much to look forward to in the January transfer window. Now, rumours are circulating that Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward are working to prepare an offer for Real Madrid midfielder Isco, with the Spaniard struggling to get his desired amount of game time under Zinedine Zidane.
With less than two years left on his current deal in Madrid and only one start to his name so far this season, in the European Super Cup, the former Malaga playmaker is believed to be available for around £25 million in what could work out to be a bargain deal should he opt to switch to Old Trafford.
Quick and skillful with the ball at his feet, Isco would bring pace to a United attacking which is sorely lacking in that attribute, particularly with Anthony Martial failing to impress and Marcus Rashford struggling for regular minutes under Jose Mourinho.
The ace is now struggling to get into the Spanish national side, having missed out on Julian Lopetegui’s first squad with the likes of Saul and Marco Asensio, the so-called next generation, pushing him even further down the list of options for the new international team manager. That only provides additional motivation for the Madrid reject to prove himself, whether it be at Old Trafford or not, wherever Isco ends up, he will most certainly have a point to prove.
However, just where he would fit in to a United line-up is unclear. Signing Isco would seemingly be a clear acknowledgement that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has failed to live up to expectations just months after his own £25 million move to Old Trafford. It would also spell trouble for Wayne Rooney, who is already struggling to justify his selection in an attacking midfield role, where Isco would be best suited.
It would also cause problems for Paul Pogba, who is yet to live up to his own £89 million price tag. With his game seemingly restricted by the presence of Rooney in front of him, the Frenchman has not been able to play with his usual attacking drive and creativity which made him so dangerous for Juventus and earned him that valuation. With Isco in front of him, it would most likely lead to the same kind of problems that could cost Rooney his Old Trafford career.
What Pogba needs is a more defensive minded midfielder alongside him, someone to cover him when he wants to break forward and who can play a role as a playmaker in a deeper position. The likes of Toni Kroos or Luka Modric have been suggested, but United may have their own solution in house with Michael Carrick.
Whilst United may see Isco as a deal which could work out well for the club, bringing in one of Europe’s most exciting attacking midfielders with youth on his side at a fairly cheap price, it is unlikely to be a benefit for Pogba as he seeks to improve his performances in his second stint at Old Trafford.
If Mourinho is to build a side around his marquee signing from this summer, Isco is not the signing his side need. If he is already prepared to sacrifice some of his new additions, then the Manchester club could do far worse than signing the playmaker.
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