Nemanja Matic’s replacement : Why Erik ten Hag should give Super Eagles star a shot
Manchester United have just started a new squad rebuild under Ex-Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and has released players like Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant to allow squad space for new incoming players.
This will lead to Manchester United needing at least two more midfielders as four of those names released were used in Manchester United’s engine room as midfielders.
As time passes, it appears more and more likely that Ten Hag will get his man in Frenkie de Jong who he previously coached at Ajax.
However, as Nemanja Matic joins Jose Mourinho’s Roma, allnigeriasoccer.com recommends that the new manager should give Super Eagles star Oghenekaro Etebo a shot at the club.
The Stoke City midfielder is perfect as an eight on either side of the defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 set-up which happens to be ten Hag’s favourite formation.
He is also capable of playing as a lone defensive midfielder with his ability to play behind the ball being crucial in minimising transitional threats.
A lone defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 is a very difficult task to engage, this is the same role Rodri plays for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Etebo has the ability and quality to play such a role.
He is also no longer the boy of yesterday whose youthful exuberance made him carefree about his positioning. He is now mature and ready to handle the pressure of playing in such a crucial position.
He played in a similar position for Nigeria against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and the maturity he brought was visible for all to see.
Having refined his game to a great extent, Ten Hag is one of the best options in the world to take his game to the next level.
Without the pressure of a huge transfer fee or over-the-roof wages, Ten Hag would do well to give the Nigerian a shot at replacing Matic in the squad and feel him out.