Manchester United have been urged to sign a midfielder who can be their very own N’Golo Kante to allow their attacking talents to flourish and provide extra protection to a leaky defence.
The France international has been one of the Premier League’s most influential players since arriving in England in 2015 when he joined Leicester.
The 30-year-old World Cup winner has won everything bar the Champions League since then but can add the European Cup to his resume with the Blues later this month.
Chelsea’s form has been much improved this season with it no surprise their upturn goes hand in hand with the busy box-to-box midfielder being more readily available than he was under Frank Lampard last term when he was hit by injuries.
And Owen Hargreaves wants his former club United to sign a player similar to the Frenchman, who will be key for Thomas Tuchel if Chelsea are to challenge for the league title again next season.
Hargreaves reckons a Kante-like player in the United midfield could give the platform for the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani all to further thrive in the final third while making a defence that has conceded 43 goals in the league this year harder to break down.
United also want a new attacker this summer with Borussia Dortmund’s £80million-rated winger Jadon Sancho among their targets, in addition to Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Hargreaves said United should sign Sancho over Spurs’ Kane to prioritise funds for several acquisitions including a new centre-back and a Kante-type midfielder.
He believes that would give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a “killer” starting line-up as United look to rival Manchester City and possibly Chelsea and also Liverpool for the league title next term.
The former England international said: “Ole loves to use two midfielders in a double pivot because it gives the team balance.
“Maybe next season, he can find a way to get both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the team with one defensive midfielder who can do that pivot job on his own.
“Someone like Kante, to then free the likes of Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood, Cavani and Sancho.
“That is killer. United can go toe-to-toe with anyone with that.”
United boss Solskjaer admits the Red Devils need two or three top additions this summer to bridge the gap to English top-flight champions and Champions League finalists Manchester City.
“As I’ve said a couple of times, I hope we can strengthen with a few,” the Norwegian said.
“We definitely need two or three players to challenge higher up in the table. We’re still too far behind to think that it’ll come by itself.
“Of course, we’re planning as we normally do. It’s not like [only] at the end of the season we see what we’ll do.
“It’s an ongoing process, looking at the squad, at the players who are going to stay and the players who might be leaving.”