Man United Should Step Up Pursuit Of Nikola Milenkovic

Last month, Sky Sports reported that Manchester United wanted to bring in ACF Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic and that he was one of Jose Mourinho’s top transfer targets.

Now some might have thought that United might have new targets this January after they sacked Jose and replaced him with interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Man United legend has brought back an attacking philosophy to Old Trafford and it’s brought with it instant results. The Red Devils have won three Premier League games in a row, United have closed the gap between themselves and Arsenal to five points and in those wins they’ve scored a combined total of twelve goals.

United’s forwards are scoring goals, Paul Pogba is strutting through games majestically and everyone seems to be playing with a smile on their face.

But Man United have still to keep a cleansheet under Ole and the Red Devils have the seventh worst goals against record in England’s top flight.

After Manchester United’s most recent win against AFC Bournemouth, caretaker gaffer Solskjaer stated to the BBC that he wanted to work on his team’s defending and not just focus on his team’s attack:

“Everyone thinks I’m looking for attacking football all the time,” 

“But the foundation is how you defend – keep a clean sheet and you have a decent chance to win a game of football.”

The temporary manager knows that tougher times will come and that his side will face strong opponents that will create more chances against his team.

With that in mind, Man United still need to find better defensive recruits to strengthen the club’s backline.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Man United’s hierarchy are still in talks with Serie A side Fiorentina regarding a move for Milenkovic.

I think they’d get a real star in the twenty-one year old if they were to purchase the Serbian internationalist.

Nikola is a very accomplished and versatile defender. As well as being a strong centre-half, he can also operate as a fine right-back. United have struggled to fill both positions, at times this term.

When I look at Milenkovic play, I’m reminded of both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

The Fiorentina man has the ball skills, pace and the composure of a young Ferdinand. Plus he has the grit, determination and the physicality that is reminiscent of his compatriot Vidic.

Milenkovic doesn’t seem to get easily flustered and that could be a real bonus for the young talent if he were to end up at Old Trafford given their defensive woes so far this term.

The young defender has scored twice this term but it’s his defensive stats that will have impressed potential suitors like Man United, Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

In his eighteen league appearances this season; Nikola has managed two win around two tackles per game (not bad when you consider he’s been mostly used as a right-back), made on average 3.6 clearances and wins 3.2 aerial duels per Serie A outing (stats from Whoscored)

United need more pace, awareness and power at the back and, for me, Nikola Milenkovic would give them that and a whole lot more!

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