Manchester United Should Be Targeting Toby Alderweireld & Kieran Tierney

It looks likely that Jose Mourinho will embark on yet another big summer spending job at Manchester United this summer.

While there has definitely been issues in the midfield and forward areas, I think Jose should concentrate on rebuilding his defence during the next off-season.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both have the same problems. As well as picking up too many injuries during a campaign, the England duo all suffer from dips in form and those issues can derail the whole squad. They’re both good defenders on their day but they aren’t the world beaters that many predicted when they joined United during the Fergie era.

Question marks still surround Victor Lindelof. The Swedish international has had a mixed debut season and people are unsure if he’ll be consistent enough to be regarded as a permanent fixture in the starting eleven.

Marcos Rojo has just signed a contract extension but he too has had his fair share of injuries.

Eric Bailly is another one who has had fitness set-backs but the Ivorian is 100% the best centre-back at the club currently. They just look more assured with his pace at the back.

At left back, Luke Shaw’s days look to be numbered at Old Trafford. The twenty-two year old was publicly slated by his manager after United’s recent FA Cup win against Brighton. Mourinho doesn’t seem to trust Shaw to carry out his defensive duties, accept basic interaction and then there’s the fitness issue.

After hauling Shaw off at half-time in the cup win over Brighton, the Man Utd manager said:

“Luke, in the first half, every time they went in this corridor, the cross was coming, the situation was coming so I was not happy with the performance.”

“I wanted my defensive line to be more solid and I want more personality in my team because many times I felt that Matic was an island of personality, desire, and control surrounded by a lack of personality, a lack of class, and a lack of desire.”

Jose hasn’t been the first boss to pull up the left-back for these specific problems but it certainly looks as though the Portuguese has ran out of patience.

Ashley Young has turned into a very decent left-back but he’s still not the best defensively and is obviously getting on a bit too.

If Man United are indeed looking for new defensive recruits then they should be earmarking Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Tierney.

Centre-Back Alderweireld has a proven Premier League track record at both Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

In the last three seasons, he’s been one of the best defenders in England’s top flight. He too, has suffered from an injury plagued year this term but he has played in more the twenty-five games in each of the past three campaigns.

The Belgian is a smart player at the back. He doesn’t rush into challenges but judges when’s best to make the tackle. That sees him coming away with the ball more than most defenders. He’s also not scared to sacrifice his body and getting in the way of shots. Another plus is that Toby doesn’t give away too many fouls.

He could be an ideal partner to have in alongside Bailly at the back.

At the moment, the twenty-nine year old has failed to sign a new deal with Spurs. That means he’ll be entering the final year of his contract come the summer. Now Tottenham could trigger a year’s extension that will see him stay until the summer of 2020 but if they do that then they also trigger a £25m release clause. They could probably get significantly more if they choose to sell the stalwart in June.

We know Spurs supremo Daniel Levy works to a budget and he doesn’t want to break his wage structure at this current time and that could see his hand forced if the right bid comes in.

When it comes to a new left-back, then Celtic’s Tierney could prove to be an ideal choice.

The Scottish youngster has been sensational in the last two years, since becoming a regular in the first team. He’s done well domestically and in Europe with his club side and he has also impressed on the international stage. He was named in UEFA’s breakthrough team of the year in December.

At just twenty years old, the defender is still improving but he already has an impressive skillset that Jose would admire.

He takes on instruction well (unlike Shaw). Tierney can excel going forward, he’s also very disciplined in getting back and making challenges. Kieran’s also smart and versatile enough to play in various defensive positions. He’s the type of player that gives his all.

Everyone has been praising Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson in recent months, well Kieran Tierney is just as good at the moment and has the potential to be better than his international colleague.

Getting Tierney in could prove difficult.

Celtic have tied the young player down to a new six year contract and the lad himself loves playing for his boyhood heroes. Basically it could cost any potential buyer a fair amount for the Hoops to do a deal when it comes to Kieran Tierney.

Manchester United have a recent history of spending big to get their targets. This summer they might need to spend the big bucks again to strengthen their defence and get themselves ready for a title push next season.


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