It is remarkable to see the difference in Manchester United’s players this season when compared to last season where they looked like they had downed tools.
Manager Erik ten Hag deserves plaudits for transforming the fortunes of both the club and the previously maligned players with United claiming the Carabao Cup last week.
They are the only Premier League outfit still fighting on all three remaining fronts and after their victory over West Ham, the FA Cup trophy is now only three matches away.
United need another high-quality midfielder
The Dutch boss is converting the team into mentality monsters despite the glaring holes in the squad. Currently United have no elite striker and a lack of quality backup options in midfield, especially for Casemiro.
United opted to play Scott McTominay there against the Hammers and the drop-off in terms of quality was there for all to see.
Reports have already indicated that the Red Devils are likely to address both issues with a striker and midfielder high on United’s agenda in the next window.
🚨 Manchester United are among the clubs keeping tabs on Romeo Lavia. [@AdrianJKajumba] #MUFC pic.twitter.com/JbjtPhACR8
— United Update (@UnitedsUpdate) March 2, 2023
Among midfielders, the 20-time English league champions have been linked with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Frenkie de Jong as well as Declan Rice. All three are likely to cost record-breaking sums.
But a lot will depend on what sort of budget United end up having and in case the striker search ends up blowing almost the whole budget, a low-cost alternative will be required.
And The Daily Mail have now revealed that the Old Trafford side are keeping tabs on Southampton’s rising star Romeo Lavia who has impressed despite the Saints having a poor season.
If they are to go down, they will find it increasingly tough to keep hold of the Belgian with interest in his services growing by the day.
Lavia could be perfect low-cost alternative
“The 19 year-old Belgian is one of the central midfielders in Chelsea’s sights for the summer and has already been subject of enquiries from the Blues since his move to St Mary’s.
“United are now among his admirers while Arsenal are understood to have shown interest too with both sides assessing their options ahead of moves to strengthen in central midfield this summer,” the report said.
Lavia had joined Southampton from Manchester City last summer in a deal worth up to £14m, signing a five-year contract. City have a buyback clause worth around £40m but that can only be triggered in 2024.
That means the Saints can earn more if they decide to sell the 19-year-old in the summer. Lavia has played both as a defensive midfielder and as a central midfielder, making 20 appearances in all competitions and managed one goal and an assist.