Sutton tells Man Utd to sign one player after making ‘panic’ buy – but it’s not a replacement for Onana

Joe Williams
Man Utd midfielder Casemiro
Casemiro's form for Man Utd has dipped significantly this season.

Chris Sutton thinks Manchester United need a new defensive midfielder much more than a new goalkeeper despite Andre Onana’s “horror show” in Turkey.

The Red Devils had a terrible start to the new season with their 3-2 loss at home to Galatasaray in early October marking their worst start to a season since 1986.

But Man Utd have turned it around since in the Premier League with five wins from their last six fixtures and Erik ten Hag’s side have moved up to sixth.

However, during that time they’ve also crashed out of the League Cup to Newcastle 3-0 and picked up just one point from two matches against Champions League rivals Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

Onana misjudged two Hakim Ziyech free-kicks as Man Utd twice threw away two-goal leads to draw 3-3 against Galatasaray on Wednesday night with the goalkeeper coming in for heavy criticism.

There have been some calls for Man Utd to buy a replacement for summer signing Onana already but Sutton reckons a new defensive midfielder is much higher up their list.

READ MORE: Little to split Newcastle and Spurs as Man United slip in ranking of Premier League injury crises

Sutton wrote in his Daily Mail column: “Arsenal have Declan Rice. Manchester City have Rodri. Tottenham have Yves Bissouma. Chelsea have Moises Caicedo. Liverpool have Alexis Mac Allister.

“Manchester United, meanwhile, have a defensive midfielder who I described as a £70million panic signing last year, for which I was criticised.

“Casemiro performed well last campaign. Better than I expected of the Brazilian in his 30s. But he is now injured and when he does feature, he doesn’t look like he’s got the legs to keep up with the demand of this level.

“Not like Rice, or Rodri, or the other elite midfield men out there who can control proceedings. The decision to let Casemiro sign a long-term deal is looking more and more foolish because he is not the answer to the lack of protection being provided by the midfield.”

Sutton added: “United need a specialist protector in midfield. Someone who can act as a barrier, particularly when they have a lead.

“They have dropped eight points from winning positions in the Champions League this season, remember. That’s more than any other team among Europe’s elite.

“Mainoo may be the right man in time. But it would be asking too much too soon to expect that of him now, week in, week out.

“Onana’s struggles will dominate discussions after that horror show in Istanbul. But defensive midfield is a problem which needs addressing sooner rather than later for United — perhaps in the January window if they want to move forwards.”