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The £20m Spanish midfielder Manchester United should be targeting

The Old Trafford outfit are in the market for a playmaker, but instead of Ander Herrera David Moyes’ men should be having a look at Atletico Madrid’s Koke.

Manchester United’s search for an attacking midfielder failed to materalise over the summer, as the long-term successor to Paul Scholes is yet to be crowned. There has been an influx of Spanish players to the Premier League, and the champions looked to increase the number by bringing Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera to Old Trafford.

Despite Herrera’s considerable abilities, the Manchester club have been put off by the £30 million release clause in the playmaker’s contract. Another option that United should be looking at from the same Iberian nation is Atletico Madrid’s Koke.

A graduate of the Spanish capital city side’s youth academy, the talented midfielder has represented his nation all the way through from under-16 level to the senior side. The 21-year-old made his international debut earlier this year, and is being touted as a player capable of replacing the ageing Xavi in the Spanish international side.

Koke made his Atletico debut back in 2009, and has grown in importance for the Vicente Calderon outfit over the last 18 months. Despite the likes of Radamel Falcao gaining the plaudits last season and Diego Costa the main man this term, Koke has been a consistent performer who has played a significant role in the Madrid-side’s progression of late.

Wayne Rooney's most impressive performance Friday was after the game

Diego Simeone has deployed the 21-year-old through the middle or from wide areas, dependent on the opponent and personnel available to him. The playmaker would prefer to play as a central attacking midfielder, as he likes to be the focal point of his team’s possession.

Energetic, technically immaculate and with an eye for a killer pass, Koke certainly has a bright future in the game at both club and national level. The young star has every chance of booking a place on the plane to Brazil for the World Cup if he continues his current form.

It seems like only a matter of time before the big two, Real Madrid and/or Barcelona, enter the fray to sign the midfielder. As such, United should be in the market for Koke either in January or next summer before he turns into a real star and his transfer fee is in the same region as Herrera.

image: © birdies-perch

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