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Sofyan Amrabat Scout Report: Why has Ten Hag Prioritised the Midfielder?

(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Sofyan Amrabat has emerged as a priority midfielder for Erik ten Hag and Manchester United as the Dutchman strengthens options ahead of the new season. Having already signed Mason Mount in a £60m deal from Chelsea, Manchester United are looking to add greater numbers to their midfield before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

Date of Birth: 21/08/1996 (26)
Position: Defensive Midfield 
Strong Foot: Right
Height: 1.85m (6ft)

Who is Sofyan Amrabat?

Amrabat is a 26-year-old defensive midfielder currently playing for Serie A side Fiorentina. The Moroccan midfielder began his professional career at Dutch side FC Utrecht where he worked with current United boss Ten Hag. After making 54 first-team appearances for Utrecht, Amrabat left the club and joined Dutch giants Feyenoord. After about a year at Feyenoord, Amrabat left the Netherlands and made a move to Belgium where he joined Club Brugge. He then moved to Italian side Hellas Verona. After having made 34 appearances for Hellas Verona, Amrabat left and joined his current club, Fiorentina.

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Ten Hag has identified Amrabat as a priority target heading into the final weeks of the window and he would reportedly cost in the region of €30m. In the past, Amrabat has attracted interest from Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. However, the midfielder is reportedly extremely keen on joining United with Erik ten Hag also keen on reuniting with his former player.

United are set to make a move for the Moroccan midfielder once two midfielders leave. Fenerbahçe have reached an agreement in principle with Manchester United to sign Fred, while Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay have attracted serious interest from Real Sociedad and West Ham respectively.

Strengths

Amrabat is very good in the first phase of build-up. He is extremely progressive in possession and is also press-resistant. In the 2022/23 Serie A season, Amrabat averaged 7.93 progressive passes per 90 as well as 1.62 progressive carries per 90. His passing range is also impressive and he completed 80% of his long-range passes in the 2022/23 Serie A season which is extremely impressive.

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Amrabat is also a very intelligent player who’s good at reading the game, which means his positioning is very good. In addition to this, he is also a good tackler and very energetic.

Weaknesses

Amrabat has a few weaknesses to his game. One of them is that he isn’t particularly strong in the air and his discipline which as a result of his all-action style does leave a lot to be desired.

Where would he fit in at Manchester United?

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Last season, United struggled massively when Casemiro was unavailable due to the absence of a reliable backup. Should Amrabat join, this would no longer be a problem. Amrabat would also be able to partner Casemiro in midfield in games against better teams where United will need more defensive stability.

Apart from Kobbie Mainoo who’s still young and inexperienced, United also a midfielder don’t really have who is press resistant and good in the first phase of build-up. However, Amrabat certainly is good at progressing the ball from deep areas. Ten Hag signing Mason Mount shows he wants to play with two advanced midfielders, meaning United’s build-up play from the back will be heavily reliant on United’s defenders. Nevertheless, having a midfielder like Amrabat who’s good on the ball in deep areas is still certainly useful and gives Ten Hag a different type of option in midfield.

Verdict

For €30 m, Amrabat would be a very smart signing by Manchester United. He’d add quality and depth to the squad which is needed as United will be looking to go far in all 4 competitions. Having a reliable back-up for Casemiro is key as we saw how less secure United looked without the Brazilian international last season.

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