Where Michael Olise would fit in at Man Utd

Where Michael Olise would fit in at Man Utd

Manchester United could land themselves one of the most exciting young players in the Premier League if they decide to make a formal approach for Michael Olise this summer.

Olise has battled hamstring problems this season, but his numbers when fit have been genuinely outstanding. It’s seven goals and four assists in 15 Premier League games for the Crystal Palace star, including one of each in a victory over West Ham United, a brace against Brentford and the 95th minute equaliser from the penalty spot in a draw with Manchester City.

Interest in the 22-year-old predates Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s involvement at United, but the new INEOS contingent have endorsed Olise as a concrete option ahead of next season.

What’s more, 90min understands that the player himself is open to joining if the Red Devils come calling. Chelsea, who trained a young Olise in their academy between the ages of seven and 14, have no plans to resurrect rival interest following last summer’s messy approach, potentially leaving United a clear run. A legally complicated release clause in his contract is between £50m and £60m.

But how would Olise fit in at Old Trafford?

Olise’s preferred role is cutting in from the right / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Olise is left-footed but has made the right flank his preferred home. It allows him to cut inside from that side of the pitch, either to shoot or play in-swinging passes or crosses to create chances.

United have had success with that style of wide player in recent seasons when Marcus Rashford or Alejandro Garnacho have operated from the left in a similar way. In that system, a left footer on the right offers balance to the team, especially if someone like Olise cutting inside can also help create space for Diogo Dalot to get forward on the overlap to the outside.

Garnacho has been United’s primary choice on the right this season as a more conventional winger, so Olise provides something different. His potential arrival could be bad news for Antony, though.

Olise occasionally played on the left for former club Reading / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

It’s not a position he’s played at club level since leaving Reading in 2021, but Olise has it in his locker to operate from the left too. Even if it proves not to be his primary purpose, there’s a benefit to having numerous options that can be plugged in depending on different in-game scenarios.

Olise has the ability to play centrally / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

One role that Premier League fans might have been used to seeing Olise play, because it is one that he played in for Palace, is as a ‘number 10’ through the middle.

His vision and range of passing, as well as an ability to shoot from distance, lends itself to playing centrally behind a striker. That role typically belongs to Bruno Fernandes, but in games where United expect to dominate possession against a deep-defending opponent, it would make sense to drop the skipper slightly deeper in order to fit a second creative midfield into the lineup.


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