Would Lewis Dunk Improve Manchester United’s Defence?

A quick glance at the Premier League table will show you that Manchester United still have a big problem when it comes to conceding goals.

Only four other English top flight sides have conceded more than United so far this term.

We all know that Man United boss Jose Mourinho wanted to bring in at least one new centre-back in the summer but the club failed to bring anyone in.

It’s not as if Jose didn’t have a comprehensive list; they were linked with Milan Skriniar, Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire, Diego Godin and more. Yet for one reason or another they couldn’t conclude any of those potential deals.

Jose stated during the last transfer window that not getting a new central defender through the doors at Old Trafford could prove to be extremely problematic and that’s certainly proven to be the case as the Red Devils currently sit in eighth place in the league table.

So with January fast approaching, Man Utd have been linked with the same old faces plus a few new ones as they try to fix their issues in the centre of their defence.

One new name that could be linked is Brighton and Hove Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk.

The twenty-six year old has been a consistent performer in the Premier League during the last season and a half. He’s formed a strong partnership with Shane Duffy and Dunk’s performances this term have won him call-ups into Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Lewis won his first cap as England defeated USA 3-0 at Wembley last week.

Obviously there’s tough competition for places in the current England set-up but Seagulls legend Bobby Zamora believes Dunk has what it takes to cement his place in the team-sheet:

“For me Lewis Dunk is one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League.”

“I rate him above a lot of the England centre-backs who have been called up.”

“He is a genuinely great defender. He is one of those who will put his face where the attacker’s boot is.”

Man United could be doing with that kind of passion at the back.

When it comes to making clearances per game, no Man Utd player is making anywhere close to Dunk’s 6.7 average. Lewis is also making more blocks per appearance. His tackling average of around 1 tackle per game and that’s roughly the same as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. His heading ability is good but not as good as Smalling or Marouane Fellaini.

None of United’s regular centre-backs are making as many interceptions as Dunk either. The Brighton man shows plenty of intelligence when it comes to reading the game and breaking up an opposition team’s build-up.

The new England international would have to make some improvements if he were to join the Red Devils.

His passing isn’t bad and he can step out of the backline and pass it out of defence but his 76% passing success rate would have to go up if he were to become a regular starter at a bigger team.

He also has a habit of committing too many fouls. It’s ok to give away a few, especially in certain areas but the more frequently a centre-back gives them away the greater chance the team will concede from a set-piece!

Lewis Dunk is probably a name that wouldn’t excited the faithful at Old Trafford but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. Sometimes it’s a case of getting in some good consistent solid types instead of chasing potential or overrated Fancy Dans.

They clearly need more numbers at the back and their need will only become greater if Eric Bailly gets sold and we also shouldn’t forget that both Smalling and Jones have contracts that are running out in June next year.

One issue could be that the player only just recently signed a new long term deal with the Seagulls. So he might not come cheap, especially after his recent international appearance.

I think Lewis Dunk would add a steeliness and a determination to Manchester United’s backline and that could be just what Jose Mourinho’s team need as they try and claw their way back into the top four!

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