Ashley Young has urged Manchester United to finally replace Michael Carrick by making a move for Marco Verratti, insisting the Paris Saint-Germain star "would be an unbelievable signing".
United have enjoyed a solid start to the 2021-22 campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, rising to fourth in the Premier League standings and second in their Champions League group - with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Villarreal marking their latest victory.
However, it has been suggested that a lack of quality in the middle of the park will ultimately undermine their efforts to end a five-year trophy drought, and Young believes Verratti could be the final piece of the puzzle for Solskjaer.
What's been said?
The former United winger sees similarities between the PSG playmaker and Solskjaer's current assistant manager Carrick, who won five league titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford before hanging up his boots in 2018.
“The Michael Carrick type has been missing for years. They haven’t gone out and replaced Michael Carrick," Young has told BBC Radio Five Live. “Don’t get me wrong - Fred and McTominay are good players but I don’t think there’s a Michael Carrick around.
“I was watching the PSG v City game yesterday and I think Marco Verratti is the closest one and nobody’s gone out to test the water to try to sign him. I think he would be an unbelievable signing for Manchester United.”
Verratti has made 349 appearances across all competitions for PSG since joining the club from Pescara back in 2012, recording nine goals and 58 assists.
The 28-year-old has helped the French giants win 27 domestic trophies to date while also picking up 47 caps at international level for Italy - playing a key role in their run to Euro 2020 glory earlier this summer.
Young suggests Pogba alternative
United cannot seek any extra reinforcements until the transfer window reopens in January, with Young of the opinion that Pogba should be handed a more central role for the time being.
The Aston Villa star watched from the bench as his current employers picked up a 1-0 win at Old Trafford last Saturday, and he felt the Frenchman was wasted out wide on the left.
“I think (United) are missing a trick in the centre of midfield. I think Paul needs to play there," Young added. “At the weekend he was playing out towards the left, I don’t think that’s Paul’s best position.
"I think he wants to control play and he wants to dictate. He’s a player who can find passes, the way Carrick used to do.”