Ten Hag could solve Man Utd’s midfield problem by unleashing “superb” 18 y/o “leader”

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After losing to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, Manchester United suffered a serious setback in their quest to qualify for the Champions League the following season. Goals from Joe Willock and Callum Wilson gave the visitors a well-earned victory at St. James’ Park.

After that “lifeless” loss, United manager Erik ten Hag is having serious problems finding an appropriate midfield partnership in the absence of the suspended Casemiro, according to Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst.

The former Ajax head coach chose a midfield trio of Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, and Marcel Sabitzer for the trip to Tyneside despite the fact that the Red Devils had “barely had a midfield” when using those same three players in the FA Cup victory against Fulham, according to The Athletic’s Adam Crafton. Christian Eriksen is also still recovering from an injury.

The Old Trafford team is rather limited in that area, as evidenced by the latest suggestion that a new “number eight” could be a priority this summer. The only other senior option is the divisive Fred, who has been called “not good enough” by club icon Roy Keane.

In the short term, Ten Hag may need to look to the academy ranks to find a potential solution, with 18-year-old Dan Gore being one standout possibility. Such a statement signing is likely required ahead of next season – amid apparent interest in both Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham – but in the short term Ten Hag may need to look to the academy ranks.

Dan Gore, who is he?

The teenager’s United career has yet to see him play at the senior level, but he does seem to be on the manager’s radar because he has been called up for first-team training sessions throughout the season.

The combative and composed ace has been hailed as “one of the most talented youngsters” in the club’s academy system by talent scout Jacek Kulig, a sign of the potential gem that Ten Hag has on his hands. The combative and composed ace famously irked Anthony Martial with a crunching, training ground challenge earlier in the season.

According to MEN’s Steven Railston, the England junior international was particularly “superb” as a member of the FA junior Cup-winning team last season and has since made “excellent progress” in the current campaign, particularly by recording two assists in 14 games for the U21s in Premier League 2.

That impressive run included a standout performance as skipper in the latter competition’s most recent draw with Arsenal, where he was hailed as the “catalyst for creativity” in that 1-1 draw with the Gunners, according to Railston.

During the club’s short EFL Trophy run earlier in the season, the £1.4k per week youngster’s talent was also on display. Gore averaged 1.3 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game from his three appearances to highlight his tenacious attitude, as well as an average of one successful dribble per game.

Mark Dempsey, a youth coach, recently praised the young “leader” for his skills both with and without the ball, saying, “I believe he’s a proper footballer, good with the ball, good without the ball, and he can move with it. The last move he makes needs to be better for me; the rest of it is excellent.

He’s one of those players who gets supporters up from their seats, so I like to watch him play football. He bumps into people, but tactically he is great and has been all season. He has served as captain several times, and although he is a quiet child by nature, he is a leader.

He sets a good model. His passion for the football team and local roots are evident in the way he plays. We all have a lot of time for Daniel because he consistently puts on a strong display whether he’s playing at Old Trafford, in a three-a-side game at Carrington, or at The Cliff.

Such qualities will probably be well received by both United supporters and Ten Hag, and Gore’s all-around skills may make him the ideal candidate to address the team’s present midfield issues.

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