Even though Ralf Rangnick has a large Manchester United squad, his options remain limited as he works to gradually implement a style of play that sees his team relentlessly press at every opportunity.
After ending Michael Carrick's reign at Arsenal last week, the German coach is expected to make changes for Wednesday night's Champions League match against Young Boys.
When it came down to it, Rangnick decided to stick with his current midfield pairing of Fred and McFred to fulfill his mercenary roles in front of the back four.
While Fred and Scott McTominay have been leading the charge, the interim manager is concerned about their limited passing range and the lack of line-breaking passes that come from deeper roles.
Manchester United instead used long balls from their defenders and overlapping support from their two full-backs to move the ball forward against Crystal Palace and compensate for the lack of creativity in their midfield duo.
Preliminary indications suggest that Manchester United will continue to search for another midfielder in the summer of 2019, particularly one who can complement Fred's ball-playing mobility while also being able to initiate attacks from a deeper position.
This is partly because of McTominay, who is still unsure of whether he should be classified as a defensive specialist or an attacking midfielder.
It is clear that McTominay, 24, has what it takes to establish himself as a long-term starter for United, but he lacks confidence about his best position as he nears a critical stage in his playing career.
In spite of the fact that the Scotland international is still an important member of the squad, his eagerness and unwavering professionalism have almost done him harm, as he is rotated around the team with little regard for his own growth.
Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to use McTominay as a striker in the team's youth system, despite his success as a defensive midfielder and auxiliary center back at international level.
When Rangnick takes over, McTominay will be forced to play in the ball-winning role that Solskjaer never wanted him to be restricted to in order to repay his mentor's faith in him.
The value of McTominay's midfield partner Fred has risen in recent weeks, but his abilities are still easy to overlook given his new interim manager's desire for all of the core attributes.
Rangnick must polish up his rough edges if he wants to keep his spot on the United team. To become a diamond, Rangnick must polish his rock after Solskjaer refused to label him as a defensive midfielder.
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