A Look At Possible Manchester United Target Kostas Manolas

The Sun have reported that Manchester United could sign AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas, in January, for a fee of £32m due to a release clause the player has inserted into his contract.

Man United certainly have defensive problems; only four Premier League sides have conceded more than The Red Devils so far this season and two long term United defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are nearing the end of their current deals.

I believe Manolas could add a few strong qualities that would help the Man Utd defence.

Firstly, he’s experienced. He’s been a successful performer with Roma in Serie A for the past five seasons. During that time he’s helped the Giallorossi become a force in the Champions League. The central defender has also won thirty-nine caps for the Greek national side and he impressed during the 2014 World Cup.

The Greek defender also possess a decent turn of pace. United don’t look the fastest, especially if the unfavoured Eric Bailly isn’t playing, and Kostas would help in that regard as he has the speed to get back at pacy attackers. He’s a defender who doesn’t dive in and he’s more about nipping in and getting the ball away from forwards.

The twenty-seven year old is also a player that can dominate in the air. According to stats site Whoscored, so far this term, the centre-back has won 2.9 arieal battles per Italian league appearance and the only Man United defender that can better that is Chris Smalling. Kostas also performs well when it comes to his clearance stats.

Kostas Manolas is also good with the ball and is an efficient passer too. In Serie A this term, the centre back currently has a 90%passing success rate. That’s better than any regular starter at Old Trafford.

Manolas told Sport24 (via Football Italia) previously that he’d want to play for a bigger side like United:

“It’s only natural you want to play for the biggest clubs, like Barcelona, Manchester United, PSG and Bayern Munich.”

If Man United really want Kostas Manolas, and that’s a big if, then I think it’s a move that could make a lot of sense.

His age won’t be a problem, as he’s young enough to have a resale value and he’s experienced enough to keep Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho happy. He would offer strength and pace to a defence that needs improved upon and a £32m, the transfer fee wouldn’t be prohibitive either.

It will be very interesting to see who, if anyone, Manchester United bring in to help out their backline. I do believe that the team needs at least one new defensive recruit and fully expect them to spend some hard cash in an attempt to fix the problem.

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