Manchester United must resolve midfield crisis in January

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David Moyes knew this was coming.

The Scot had only been in the Manchester United hot-seat for a matter of days before making it his priority to sign a top-class midfielder - or two - by the end of the summer transfer window on September 2.

Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Ander Herrera, amongst many others, were linked with moves to Old Trafford. But after suffering a series of disappointments in the transfer market, Moyes was left with little choice but to spend an excessive £27.5m fee on Marouane Fellaini, a player he knew was capable of doing a job thanks to his time working with the Belgium international at Everton.

But for all of Fellaini's considerable talents, United needed more to mount a serious title challenge this season.

Yes, they may have won the Premier League by an 11-point margin last season, but every one of their rivals strengthened over the summer, leaving United in serious danger of falling behind.

And so it's proved. After the first 12 matches of the campaign, the reigning Premier League champions find themselves down in sixth position, having won just half of their fixtures.

And to make matters ten times worse, United recently suffered an untimely injury to their most influential midfielder.

Michael Carrick was sorely missed against Cardiff City on Sunday afternoon - and the assured central midfielder is expected to be out until January, leaving United worryingly short on midfield options during the most hectic period of the campaign.

Without Carrick the Red Devils lack composure, their possession stats fall considerably, and wide gaps form between midfield and defence, allowing opponents to drift into pockets of space with relative ease.

Moyes will no doubt be deeply concerned by this - and must have drawn up a list of midfield transfer targets long before Sunday's 2-2 draw.

The Glazer family must back Moyes in the January transfer window and allow him to splash a significant sum of cash on a top-level midfielder. Failure to do so will cost the Red Devils this season.

But what sort of midfielder should they be looking to sign? A tenacious, tough-tackling midfielder or a creative, ball-playing midfielder?

In truth, both would be of use to Moyes. But if they possess the talent, positional sense and a winning mentality then it doesn't particularly matter which of the two types of midfielder they bring in.

In order to generate some funds, Anderson must be moved on - he's been handed more than enough chances during his disappointing Manchester United career - while Moyes should also consider Tom Cleverley's position in the team.

In the meantime, though, the Manchester United manager must make the most of what he has.

Best of luck, David. You might just need it.

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