Cheick Tiote To Man United: Moyes Attempts To Strengthen Midfield, Big Time
According to the Express, Man United's grizzled sea-captain David Moyes is looking to steer his side out of the storm by strengthening his midfield with the signing of Newcastle's cultured leg-snapper Cheick Tiote.
What a signing that would be.
Going from no bite in the middle - unless you could obvious-CB Phil Jones' valiant efforts to injure himself whenever he goes in for a midfield challenge as 'bite' - to almost too much bite, actually. The underrated Newcastle man would be a perfect addition to any squad - the kind of player that opposition fans hate and his team loves. After all: would you want to play against him?
Famed for his fearsome tackling and haircut like a Street Shark, Cheick Tiote is also a vastly underrated technician. If it's stats you want then it's stats I'll bloody well give you. Averaging out at 3.5 tackles per game and 87.2% pass completion rate, he's both strong on the ball and good in the tackle. He's got Fellaini's power but without the drawback of having the turning circle of a Teutonic plate.
Allowed to be the enforcer around Carrick's regista (think Mascherano and Alonso; think Flamini and Fabregas) he would be a terrific asset. His engine is phenomenal too.
At 27-years-old he probably still has another five years of first class football in him and, with Newcastle in turmoil right now, they should be able to pick him up relatively easy should the Toon's in-fighting last until the summer.