Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been explaining his decision to bring on Adnan Januzaj in a deeper midfield role against Sunderland.
New signing Ander Herrera was missing through injury, and Januzaj was brought off the bench to replace Darren Fletcher for the final 27 minutes on the match.
Januzaj is more used to playing out wide, or as a playmaker, and this was the first time he had played in more withdrawn central midfield role in the Premier League.
Van Gaal said post-game, report ManUtd.com: "It is not usual that we have four injuries in midfield, every club that has that, has a problem. That is why I played Januzaj in midfield because as a coach I want to win.
"I have said that we need creative passing and I thought Januzaj could provide that. That is the reason."
It is hard to suggest however that Van Gaal's own creativity was matched by Januzaj's output.
|Team||Key Passes||Fwd Pass||Final Third Entries||Pass Accuracy||Accurate Passes|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||1||4||2||92.31||24|
Januzaj made 24 accurate passes in total, but just four of them were played forward, with only two entering the final third and one setting up a goalscoring chance.
The Belgian was intent on playing it safe and helping United keep possession, but the fruits of his labour were ultimately fruitless.
His selection in the position highlights the desperate situation United have found themselves in heading into the final week of the transfer window, and how they have picked up only one point from their opening two games.
Surely they cannot ignore the need to sign a top class central midfielder over the next week, can they?