Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea should be looking at Adam Maher

Adam Maher is quickly becoming a household name in European football, and the prodigious 19-year-old showed why once more for AZ Alkmaar in the KNVB Beker final last week. The skilful playmaker is one of the hottest prospects in Dutch football, and showcased his ability on the big stage in his last outing, leading AZ to their first cup success in 31 years.

The attacking midfielder scored the first goal in his team’s 2-1 victory over PSV, with a sublime piece of individual skill and a composed finish, as shown here.

The bigger Eredivisie clubs such as Ajax and PSV themselves will be eyeing Maher as a possible summer signing, however the playmaker looks ready for an extra step, and a move to the Premier League. With four full Netherlands caps under his belt before his 20th birthday, Maher’s future looks extremely bright.

His fast feet and close control are exemplary, as shown by this piece of skill against Mark van Bommel in the cup final.

Manchester United have been looking for skilful players to play in the centre of the park and keep possession, and Maher would certainly fit the bill. Admittedly he would need to work on the defensive part of his game, however tutelage at Carrington could mould him into a top player.

Maher would also be a close match for Arsenal, with the teenager a youthful replacement for Tomas Rosicky. With the Gunners’ brand of possession football and intricate passing, the Dutchman would surely fit right in.

Finally, Chelsea have been putting an emphasis on youth in their transfer dealings, and seem set on the 4-2-3-1 formation. Although the dream pairing of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard hold the three starting berths, Maher has the versatility and the quality to deputise in any of the three positions.

Five playmakers Manchester United should target as Paul Scholes’ replacement

Paul Scholes took the option to retire at the end of last season, but Manchester United missed the playmaker’s creativity and guile so much that the 37-year-old came out of retirement to aid the Red Devils in their title charge.

Sir Alex Ferguson chased Wesley Sneijder as a potential replacement last summer, but with the Dutchman out of form and sure to be an expensive option, here are five alternatives that the Scottish manager has witnessed first hand, and who will be in his thoughts once the transfer window reopens.

Eden Hazard

By now, the talent and ability of the Belgium international is evident for all to see, and Hazard is one of the hottest prospects in European football. The 21-year-old’s attacking abilities helped Lille to the Ligue 1 Championship last term, and he has matured with the chance to play Champions League football this campaign.

With Hazard already admitting that he will leave the Stade Lille-Metropole this summer, suitors such as Manchester City, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Tottenham are all in the hunt for the starlet, but Sir Alex has also made it across the channel to watch him in action.


Iker Muniain

Given Athletic Bilbao’s excellent performances over two legs to dump United out of the Europa League, the English champions are more than aware of this Spanish prodigy’s talent.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men have evolved into an excellent side this season, with the 19-year-old schemer catching the eye in the process. With the ability to be the future of Spain’s creative midfield once the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta retire, the bigger boys of European football are sure to be circling San Mames in the near future.

Christian Eriksen

A product of the fabled Ajax youth academy, Eriksen has technical ability and poise in possession in spades. The 20-year-old has won the Eredivisie, experienced Champions League football and also faced United this term in the Europa League.

As one of Denmark’s shining lights, Eriksen will be given a chance to star at Euro 2012 this summer, which may make it difficult for the Amsterdam Arena outfit to hold onto their superstar.

Nicolas Gaitan

Benfica’s exciting attacking midfielder has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since he proved a thorn in the English team’s side in the Champions League earlier this term.

The Argentine has skill and pace in bundles, but whether he has the passing range and guile of some of the other candidates remains to be seen. Sir Alex may still try to sign the South American, but as more of a winger or second striker.


Luka Modric

The Tottenham talisman is the life and soul of a much-applauded Spurs side; the Croatian is also the White Hart Lane club’s most prized possession. Another excellent season under his belt, Modric will more than likely be the subject of attention this summer.

Spurs fought off advances from Chelsea a year ago, rejecting a £40 million offer, but the eastern European playmaker’s future depends on where Tottenham finish in the Premier League this term. The most expensive of the five options but arguably the most gifted, Sir Alex budget will play a part in any potential move for Modric.

Honourable mentions must also go to Adam Mayer of AZ and Younes Belhanda of Montpellier. The duo have been pivotal in their team’s current campaigns, with the underdog sides both fighting for their respective titles. The pair may be a bit inexperienced to step straight into the United first team, but have the potential to make a move to the Premier League this summer.

Published – Bleacher Report

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