Erik highlights Amrabat's versatility
Erik ten Hag has explained that Sofyan Amrabat can offer Manchester United versatility in numerous areas of the pitch, not just as a defensive midfielder.
The Morocco international will have to wait to make his Reds debut, with the 27-year-old ruled out of the Brighton game on Saturday due to injury, but when he does play he is expected to provide Ten Hag with another option at no.6, in addition to Casemiro.
Erik knows all about Sofyan’s qualities from the two seasons they spent together at Utrecht in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017.
The boss did deploy Amrabat as a wide midfielder and at full-back at times during his spell with the Eredivisie club and he sees no reason why those roles can’t be reprised if required this season.
“What we missed in our squad was behind Casemiro, another one - so a typical holding midfield player,” Erik told reporters, when asked about Amrabat’s importance to the side.
“So we have him [Casemiro] and you see the overload in games. We need a type [like that], but also Amrabat can play alongside Casemiro.
“He is also capable of playing in a higher position on the pitch and even he can play as a wing-back or a full-back.”
Amrabat’s injury setback forced him to withdraw from Morocco’s squad for the recent friendly with Burkina Faso – their earlier Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia had to be postponed anyway due to the earthquake near Marrakech.
On the pitch, it was a positive break for many of United’s other international players, however, and Ten Hag was in bullish mood as we look to bounce back from the late, heartbreaking defeat at Arsenal earlier this month.
“We are in a good place, we are highly motivated,” added the manager.
“We are really looking forward to players coming back from international games. Most of them you saw they had really good results.
“They had really good performances, all the players who were on international duties, now they are back and we were very disappointed after Arsenal from the result, but not from the performance.”