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Manchester United: this Premier League winner ought to be a leader at Old Trafford – opinion

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has implemented a youthful revolution at Old Trafford which has seen the appearances of some senior figures at Manchester United dwindle.

Though what the Red Devils squad has consistently been accused of is lacking leadership figures. Of the Norwegian’s current squad, three players have previously won the English top-flight: David de Gea, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic.

The most recent of those wins was the Serbian midfielder’s double with Chelsea in 2014/15 and 2016/17, and as the player with recent title experience, he is neglecting his duties as a leader at Old Trafford.

Reports suggested Matic was not allowed to leave during the summer, though the Serb has fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United, behind Scott McTominay, making only two Premier League starts. But amidst complaints of a lack of leadership on the field, Solskjaer might be wise to reintroduce his experienced combative midfielder in a similar manner to how Lampard has blended the youth of Mateo Kovačić and Mason Mount with the established N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

Manchester United have struggled to impose themselves against two newly promoted sides in their most recent fixtures, drawing with Aston Villa and Sheffield United, and it is perhaps time for a change of plan from their under-pressure manager.

McTominay could learn directly from a holding midfielder who dominated games in a Chelsea shirt and was a crucial part of both their title wins while he was at Stamford Bridge, earning himself a place in the PFA Team of the Season for 2014/15.

At 31-years-old, Matic may be past the peak of his career but as part of a side that appears devoid of guidance, he should accept some responsibility, instead of informing his manager that he “bears the responsibility” if the club does not fight for titles.

He ought to take responsibility himself if he wishes to return to becoming a regular in the side, it is the first step in becoming a player the youth surrounding him can aspire to be like. Jorginho at Matic’s former club is the perfect example, his first season may not have gone how he envisaged, but this term he has transformed his performances and his side’s results have drastically improved in the process.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 17 16 1 0 49
2 Leicester City 17 12 3 2 39
3 Manchester City 16 10 2 4 32
4 Chelsea 17 9 2 6 29
5 Sheffield United 17 6 7 4 25
6 Manchester United 16 6 6 4 24
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 5 9 2 24
8 Tottenham Hotspur 16 6 5 5 23
9 Arsenal 16 5 7 4 22
10 Crystal Palace 16 6 4 6 22
11 Newcastle United 17 6 4 7 22
12 Burnley 17 6 3 8 21
13 Brighton & Hov… 16 5 4 7 19
14 AFC Bournemouth 17 5 4 8 19
15 West Ham United 17 5 4 8 19
16 Everton 16 5 2 9 17
17 Aston Villa 17 4 3 10 15
18 Southampton 17 4 3 10 15
19 Norwich City 17 3 3 11 12
20 Watford 17 1 6 10 9

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