Could Amrabat fix Man Utd’s Midfield?

Learn more about Sofyan Amrabat’s previous connection with Erik ten Hag, his coach, and how his skills in power and passing could potentially address the issues in Manchester United‘s midfield.

The issues with Manchester United’s midfield have been a major topic this season. Being invaded by a pack of wolves. We were defeated by Tottenham. Mason Mount is currently dealing with an injury. Everyone is talking about Casemiro’s performance lately. We need a solution right away.

One possible answer might be Sofyan Amrabat, who plays as a midfielder for Fiorentina. The player from Morocco was really good in the World Cup. They know Erik ten Hag from when they played together at Utrecht. People have been saying that they might join United during the summer.

Gary Neville explained to Sky Sports that there is a specific reason why they are interested in purchasing Sofyan Amrabat. He wants everyone on the team to be capable of accepting and receiving the football. Sofyan Amrabat is joining the team, and he is skilled at passing the ball. He can play alongside Casemiro in the midfield position.

The person from Brazil definitely requires assistance. People wanting Scott McTominay to be put back in the starting line-up shows that Amrabat doesn’t have to be a combination of Roy Keane and Bobby Charlton to make a difference. United is really desperate to have a presence in that place.

There was a time when it wasn’t clear that Amrabat, who is now 27 years old, could become that kind of player. He was a member of a three-player defense at Club Brugge four years ago. The big change happened when he was loaned to Hellas Verona with the condition that he would play as a defensive midfielder.

Could Amrabat fix Man Utd's Midfield?

The Creation of Amrabat

It was at that place where he found again the ability that Ten Hag and others had noticed in him when he was a teenager. Amrabat appeared different back then. The person’s head was not shaved, and their body was not as strong as the one that covered more area than any other player at the World Cup in Qatar.

The Sofyan from 10 to 12 years ago was quite dissimilar compared to the present. Not just in terms of age or experience, but also in terms of understanding football and knowing how to become a professional. He already thought he was a really good player, but he was only 15 or 16 years old. That’s only the start.

When he joined my team in the U19s,” Pronk tells Sky Sports, “he was going through a major change in his mindset, becoming more professional. He started working hard every day, getting ready before practice, following personalized training programs, both on the field and in the gym.

Amrabat had been the center of attention at a young age. He played for the Netherlands U15 team, but then decided to switch and play for Morocco. This decision sparked discussions with Ruud Gullit and Dick Advocaat. Pronk recalls their attempts to persuade him into selecting the Netherlands.

The progress was disregarded, but there was a Dutchman whom Amrabat did pay attention to during that time. Erik ten Hag provided him with plenty of support and attention. According to Erik’s philosophy, the academy held significant importance. He was the coach who brought him to the varsity team.

Even though Pronk acknowledges that “he achieved great success in Italy,” it was during those two seasons working with Ten Hag that he transitioned from being a promising player to becoming a professional, which ultimately led to his transfer to Feyenoord. He achieved great success in the Eredivisie.

What type of player was Amrabat when he was young? Now you understand what he’s demonstrating – he’s an incredibly skilled midfielder. We talked with him about what he needed to improve because he had the abilities to become a really skilled box-to-box player. He possessed a strong physical strength.

Pronk also put effort into improving other aspects of his game. During his time at Ajax, the coach worked with some of the top young players in Europe, including Christian Eriksen. He recognized the importance of helping Amrabat enhance his skills. They learned about the top midfielders in the field.I presented him with a substantial amount of video material. I attempted to clarify to him what was necessary and what the best midfield players were demonstrating at the highest level. In order to be sought after by clubs and coaches, it is important to focus on developing specific skills. If you don’t have it, you won’t be considered special enough to be at the top.

We examined popular midfielders from around the world such as Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric. I’m not saying he was exactly like them, since he was around 18 or 19 years old at that time. But I wanted to demonstrate to him that this was the standard or expectation. The purpose was to provide him with a mirror so he could compare himself to those players.

A Game Changer at United?

Amrabat would end up playing against Modric two times during the 2022 World Cup. At that point, he had developed exceptional skills in controlling the ball. His Fiorentina team came in second place, right behind Napoli, for possession in Serie A during the previous season. Amrabat was one of the best 10 players in completing passes in the opposing team’s half per 90 minutes.

It has taken some time for him to develop that aspect of his game, the combination of passing and power. Pronk says that if you compare his technical ability to Eriksen’s, the difference is very clear. However, it is essential to have both individuals in a team. When those two players come together, they form a really strong team.

United currently lacks this quality. That’s what Erik and other coaches are searching for because the Premier League is quite physical, requiring a significant amount of strength and intensity. Pronk says, “I believe Sofyan Amrabat can contribute that to the team.”

I believe that Erik should utilize his abilities in the midfield, specifically his skill in making runs from one end of the field to the other. In the Netherlands, we refer to it as winning the second ball. He requires a player who can retrieve the ball, someone who can quickly press the opponent after losing possession. These are the unique abilities that Sofyan possesses.

If Amrabat were to reunite with Ten Hag, it would complete a full circle in his career. For Pronk, it would be another reason to feel proud. I enjoy working with younger athletes and contributing to their growth and development. That’s something you recall years later.

United might find that this could be the answer to their issue in the midfield.


Published on: August 25, 2023. at: 3:38 pm

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