Manchester United; The Outside Shouts
As it stands, Manchester United need a Holding Midfielder, and at least 1 fullback, we would prioritize the Right-hand Side, with the possibility of letting Aaron Wan-Bissaka go, a Centre Back, and a Left Winger. Instead of looking at the players, everyone expects to see, I’m going to be looking at some outside choices for these positions for United, keeping in mind Erik Ten Hag’s philosophy of play and the current team, here are our options…
Starting at Centre Half, Real Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand is a top-class player and my outside pick. Currently aged 25, Le Normand is valued at €30m and would be a great addition to Utd’s defence as a ball-playing Centre Half. This season Le Normand has made 34 appearances for Sociedad in the league, averaging 1.2 tackles per 90, as well as 1.4 interceptions p90. Aerially Le Normand is exceptional, winning 4.1 aerials p90, placing him in the 93rd percentile for this. His passing ability is also excellent, with a 90% pass completion rate from his average 56 passes p90. Progressively Le Normand is also very solid, with 2.72 progressive carries and 2.21 progressive passes per 90. A would be a great Signing for Utd and ETH, Massively improving their ability to play out from the back.
For Full Back, I believe staying in England and looking at Southampton’s Full Back Kyle Walker-Peter’. First things first, I Understand the hype around Livramento as a brilliant young player, and if he was to transfer to any top 6 clubs that would be Fully deserved, However, his Brilliance has overshadowed a great Season for their other Full Back. The first major benefit of KWP is his major versatility, Having been forced to the left due to Livramento he has not only adapted but thrived as a left Full Back. His adaption to Left back has changed his play style massively. Seeing his average passes p90 drop to 47.9, with an 80% accuracy, however, his progressive carries have increased massively, with an average of 7.8 p90 and 1.7 successful dribbles p90, putting him in the 94th percentile of fullbacks for both stats. His Overlapping ability is also a highlight of playing on the left, as an Inverted Fullback KWP takes an average of 1 shot p90, and 2.1 Shot creating actions p90. Being valued at only €18m according to Transfermarkt the 25-year-old Englishmen could be a great signing for ETH’s system.
In the Midfield I was looking at a progressive holding Midfielder. Thinking someone Similar to De Jong and an underrated baller came to mind, this being AC Milan’s Bennacer. The €30m rated Algerian Midfielder has been absolutely tearing it up this season, and Ten Hag’s UTD would benefit massively from his signing if Barcelona refuse to let Frenkie go. As a defensive player, Bennacer pressures forwards on the ball, averaging 23 pressures p90 with 3.25 tackles and 2.46 interceptions. This then develops in his amazing ability to push at teams from the midfield. This season Bennacer has Averaged 5.88 progressive carries and 6.14 progressive passes, putting him in the 85th and 92nd percentile of holding midfielders respectively. Furthermore, Bennacer averages 1.84 successful dribbles p90, putting him in the 97th percentile of players for this. Along with this Bennacer averages, 62 passes p90, with an 85% accuracy. This rare skillset would be perfect for Ten Hag and Utd next season and would be a player they should look at, with him only being 24, He could become an absolute top player if he is not already. One to watch either way.
Looking at the final player for United, the left-wing position has been rumoured about, as Rashford looks to be departing. In Particular, youngster Cody Gakpo has been linked and would be a great move to the red side of Manchester. With all this in mind, i will instead look at Bundesliga Star Moussa Diaby. Heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, Diaby has 12 goals and 11 assists in 30 games this season. His output has improved massively this season, with an average of 0.26 npxg p90, with 0.43 non-penalty goals p90 from an average of 2.02 shots he has become a clinical goal scorer. His assist numbers have also massively increased, averaging 0.38 assists p90, putting him in the 94th percentile for assists from an xa of 0.3, once again overperforming his expected numbers. This Clinical ability of Diaby would be a massive asset to UTD, who have missed a goal-scoring winger for large parts of the season, With Greenwood being their highest scoring winger this season and third highest scoring player, while missing most of the season due to his own deplorable actions.
This Summer is going to be a big point for many teams in the Premier League, I am expecting a massive window, with Utd to be one of the big spenders, with a squad overhaul needed for the introduction of ETH and hopes of returning to Champions League football for the following season.