Man United Should Chase Down Lille’s Top Star!

Manchester United have still got a few issues in attack.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still night and day compared to Jose Mourinho’s last few months at Old Trafford but interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has to find an ideal solution for the right wing position.

Jesse Lingard is a versatile, hard-working forward but the Englishman seems to work better as an attacking central midfielder and probably isn’t dynamic enough to be an explosive Man United right winger.

Chilean star Alexis Sanchez has picked up another injury and to be honest he hasn’t really worked out at United. Plus the former Arsenal man is more suited playing on the left flank.

Belgian Romelu Lukaku striker can be effective on the right side but I doubt you can consistently play the hitman out on the wing. It’s a surprise tactic that works well on special occasions but I can’t see Lukaku performing at his best there every week.

Former manager Mourinho liked using Marcus Rashford as a winger but the England international has since shone through the middle as Ole’s main striker and I doubt he’ll be willing to move back out wide.

Personally, I think Solskjaer will want a new young, hungry right sided attacker if the Norwegian gets the manager’s gig on a full-time basis.

With that in mind, I believe that The Red Devils should be chasing Lille OSC forward Nicolas Pepe.

Mourinho liked bringing in older players with reputation like Sanchez for example. But United’s history is more about promoting youth and bringing in talented young players that are itching to make the big step up at a major side.

Twenty-three year old Pepe has excelled for Les Dogues this season. The Ivorian has played all of his games in the attacking right position. Being left-footed he loves to cut inside and cause all sorts of problems for opposition full-backs.

The right winger is deceptively strong, so can withstand some stiff challenges, and he also has electric pace which can be extremely effective in counter attack situations.

Nicolas is also super aware of his surroundings and that allows him to make the perfect decisions in the final third. The young player also has strong dribbling skills and is very good at running directly at his opponents and getting beyond them. His close control is also of a high standard.

This season has seen Pepe become an impact player for his club.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani have scored more Ligue 1 goals than Nicolas’ sixteen league strikes.

No player has bettered Pepe’s eight assists thus far in the French top flight this season.

The African forward could be on the cusp of superstardom, his performances alongside a decent Lille team have seen the club rise to second place in Ligue 1.

His outing on Lille’s right wing has seen him linked with top European clubs like FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG.

Lille gaffer Christophe Galtier looks resigned in losing his top talent this summer (Source- Sport):

“It’s difficult to keep these type of players in our league,”

“When the biggest clubs in Europe call you, it’s really complicated.”

“If Nicolas keeps going like this and improves his statistics by the end of the season, he will be on the shortlist of all of Europe’s big clubs.” 

“The player’s desire is also important. I am sure that, if the moment comes, everything will be very transparent. We will all try to find the best solution possible.” 

A fee of around £80m has been talked about and only a few clubs like United can afford that price.

If the right wing spot is one that Manchester United are looking at strengthening, then why not go after one of the world’s brightest prospects for that position? One that’s turned it on consistently this campaign and who has produced in his side’s big games too.

Nicolas Pepe seems to have all the credentials needed to become Man United’s next big star on the right flank!

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