Who should Manchester United target for the number 6 role? 

An analysis into Amadou Onana and Manuel Ugarte ahead of a potential transfer to Manchester United
Uruguay v Panama - CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024
Uruguay v Panama - CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024 / Carl Kafka/ISI Photos/GettyImages

After Casmerio's poor season Erik ten Hag’s side are looking for a young defensive midfielder to build the team around. So far the two names that have been heavily linked with a move to The Red Devils are Everton’s Amadou Onana and PSG’s Manuel Ugarte. Both have skill sets that make them ideal for United and here we take a look at what they can offer. 

Amadou Onana

Following his 30 million pounds move from Lille to Everton in August 2022, Onana has proved himself as a crucial player for the Toffees. His physicality coupled with his aerial threat and ability to win ground duels has made him an ideal player for Sean Dyche’s team. Onana is capable of making decisive line breaking passes enabling his side to create chances. He is also adept at carrying the ball to dangerous areas. 

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Even though Onana is not decisive when it comes to being a no nonsense midfielder with important tackles in his bag, he is capable of making recovery runs and winning the ball. If Ten Hag decides to go for the Belgian it will be a sharp contrast to what he already has with Casemiro. Onana can help the team play a more intensive transitional game. But he might not be able to carry the burden of being a number 6 on his own.

Manuel Ugarte 

The Uruguayan seems to be the favorite to join Man United as per multiple reports. The PSG man is a combative midfielder who is able to provide adequate cover to the backline. Ugarte is the ideal player to defend when a side is being attacked on transition. He is good at winning second balls and has good awareness of his surroundings. 

One downside from Ugarte’s play is his lesser ability to win aerial duels. Unlike Onana he is also not someone who drives at defenders and creates a lot in the final third. But from a purely defensive aspect he is the ideal candidate for Man United. 


Many reports are suggesting that Manuel Ugarte is the likeliest of the two to head to Old Trafford. The PSG man has a similar profile to Casemiro and is understandable why Ten Hag wants him. Onana has been linked with both Barcelona and PSG. There is no indication that he is Man United’s preferred player.

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