By Graham Ruthven
Along with Arsenal’s seven-year trophy drought, Stoke City’s long ball and bully tactics and Roman Abramovich’s itchy trigger finger at Chelsea, Manchester United’s anaemic central midfield has become a tired soccer cliché.
Sir Alex Ferguson implements the transfer policy normally adopted by an overly-enthusiastic teenager playing Football Manager for the first time, overloading on top class attackers and ignoring other areas of his team desperate for rejuvenation. That’s the assumption, anyway.
No other area of United’s squad is in need of revitalizing than its central midfield. Persuading Paul Scholes to come out of retirement for a second spell with the Red Devils last season gave them the vigour only a new signing could provide. The problem was that new signing was 38 years old.
However, since then Sir Alex Ferguson has shown a willingness to find a solution to his central midfield issues before Scholes retires for good, most likely at the end of this campaign. His efforts have focused on one player in particular.
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