Manchester United are set to secure Marcel Sabitzer on loan after the club confirmed Christian Eriksen will be sidelined for at least three months.
Date of Birth: 17/03/1994 (28)
Position: Central Midfield
Strong Foot: Right
Height: 1,77 m (5ft 8in)
Who is Marcel Sabitzer?
Sabitzer is an Austrian footballer currently plying his trade at German giants Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old midfielder spent the early part of his career playing in his homeland Austria before making the switch to Germany where he joined RB Leipzig. Following a successful period at Leipzig, Sabitzer joined German champions Bayern Munich in August 2021.Embed from Getty Images
After making 54 appearances for Bayern Munich, the Austrian international now looks set to join Manchester United on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, with some sources suggesting a buy-option will be included in the deal. With Donny van de Beek out for the rest of the season and Christian Eriksen out for multiple months, United are keen to bolster their midfield, with Erik ten Hag’s side still competing in 4 competitions.
Sabitzer is quite a complete midfielder. He offers his team a lot going forward but he’s also very useful in terms of the defensive side of the game.
Should Sabitzer play alongside Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro in a midfield three, his main job will be progressive the ball up the pitch, a role Christian Eriksen has fulfilled very well this season. Sabitzer is quite capable of doing this. He’s a great ball receiver, press-resistant and has averaged 4.36 progressive passes per 90 over the last year which is very respectable. He’s only lost the ball 5.1 times on average in the Bundesliga this season which is seriously impressive for a midfielder. The Austrian midfielder is also a very good passer having completed 88% of his passes in the Bundesliga this season. He also has a decent passing range and completed 62% of his attempted long-range passes in the Bundesliga last season.Embed from Getty Images
From a defensive point of view, Sabitzer is also outstanding. He’s won 60% of his ground duels in the Bundesliga this season and is also an exceptional tackler. He’s averaged 3.06 tackles per 90 in the last year winning 1.84 of them – ranking him amongst the best in his position. He’s quite good at dealing with skilful players and has also averaged 1.23 interceptions per 90 over the last year, which is very decent.
Sabitzer also poses a goal threat and is renowned for his strikes from long distance. He’s also a great presser and is good with both feet. He’s also quite strong meaning he should be able to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League.
In terms of weaknesses, Sabitzer’s only real glaring weakness is his ability in the air but as he’ll likely be playing next to Casemiro, that should hopefully not be too much of an issue.
Where would he fit in at United?Embed from Getty Images
Sabitzer will add a lot of quality to Manchester United’s midfield and also give Ten Hag a much-needed option following Christian Eriksen’s injury. Sabitzer will presumably play in a midfield 3 alongside 5x Champions League winner Casemiro and attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Sabitzer will likely operate in a similar role to Eriksen, with the biggest job being to progress the ball up the pitch. Sabitzer also offers more from a defensive point of view then Eriksen which should be helpful in reducing Casmeiro’s workload.
As far as loan signings on deadline day go, Sabitzer is as good as it gets. Having seen what rivals like Chelsea and even Arsenal have done in this window, many Manchester United fans have been left underwhelmed with the business the Old Trafford club has done. However, with the Glazers looking to sell the club in the coming months and United’s reported financial struggles, signing Wout Weghorst and Sabitzer on loan is a relatively good window considering the circumstances. Both players will give United much needed depth and quality going into the rest of the season as Ten Hag looks to get Manchester United back into the UEFA Champions League and end the club’s trophy drought, which has lasted far too long.