Andres Iniesta Spain

Andrés Iniesta is no longer the world-class player he was.

As reported in the Independent earlier this season, Barcelona legend Iniesta is being tracked by Manchester United ahead of a potential transfer.

A favourite of Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal, 30-year-old Iniesta still has a few years left on his contract at the Camp Nou, but he could be keen on linking up with the Dutch coach for a swan song spell at Old Trafford.

United fans will whet their appetite at the prospect of a player such as Iniesta turning out at Old Trafford, and he ties in perfectly to van Gaal’s possession-based philosophy. Despite his advancing age, the lack of physicality in his current play means that there is no fear behind a loss of ability, and the Spanish veteran of 98 caps would be a wonder in the Premier League.

Well, you would expect he would be, until you look at the stats from his past year...

Playing for Barcelona, a team with a strike force that consists of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, it would be expected that a player such as Iniesta would be claiming assists on a game-by-game basis. But that is not the case.

Since March 2014, the midfielder has failed to provide a single assist or goal in La Liga action, meaning that his play would probably make United's game more sterile than it currently is.

That is not to say that Iniesta has become a bad player overnight, as he is still a top level midfielder. But maybe, since United’s interest has been reported, the once-creative force has lost what made him a world-class player a few years ago.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch