in a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 as FM calls it i had pastore in as a cm A with move into chanels with david silva next to him as advanced playmaker att. Pastore was the best midfielder i had on my 10 year save with city. and i had Iniesta Snjeider silva paulo henrique. this was on att mentality/statagy. maybe lowering the creative freedom a bit they make spark a bit more i know it sounds wrong but with the ME it seems to be the way forward
Reduce his creative freedom to the first click on Much (or even less), then set Run Forwards, Run With Ball, Through Balls and Crossing to Sometimes. Long Shots to Rarely of course. I believe this would actually give him more creative freedom than his settings are allowing him now. Creative Freedom merely tells him that he can ignore your instructions when he likes, but telling him to do lots of things often may make his decision-making suffer because those instructions overrides his playing style and personality. Telling him that he is to do what he is told, except in some circumstances (where flair takes over anyways), but leaving it up to him to use his abilities as he likes for the most part - that is what I am suggesting and that is what makes sense imo.
I haven't tried your tactic, or Pastore/Enrique though.