One of Manchester United’s biggest needs for the upcoming season might be to sign a left-back.
Ashley Young has been featuring on that role, but he is not a natural defender. Luke Shaw looks set to leave the club during the current transfer window. And both Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have struggled, so perhaps they no longer count as alternatives for Jose Mourinho. The team needs a natural left-back for the position, and apparently they have set their sights on a specific target.
According to a report from the Guardian, The Red Devils are being linked with a £53m move for Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam. Yes, you read that amount correctly. That transfer fee would transform the Algerian international into one of the most expensive defenders in the world. But there is no question he is among the top left-backs in Europe. If anything, he is a gamble worth taking the risk for.
Who is Faouzi Ghoulam?
Ghoulam is a 26-year-old left-back who currently plays for Napoli in the Serie A. The Algerian is in his fifth season with the Italian giants, and has established himself as one the club’s most importantplayers on the same level as other stars such as Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens. Ghoulam is also entering his prime years, so he would be a worthy investment. Ghoulam has nothing left to prove in the Serie A anymore, and it makes sense for him to take the next step in his career.
With that in mind, he would fit perfectly at United. The team needs a left-back, and Ghoulam might be available at a discount fee since he is currently nursing a knee injury. But the fact that he won’t be a free agent until 2022 will certainly increase his price. United, however, would be wise to make a move for him. If they want another year, we could be talking about an even more expensive transfer for an older player. That’s a luxury they can’t allow to happen.
What would he bring to Manchester United
First of all, Ghoulam would add United an experienced player for the left-back role. Young has been serviceable, but there is no question Ghoulam represents a considerable upgrade. Not only he is cheaper, but he is better on both ends of the pitch as well.
He would also add some much-needed stability to the team on the defensive end. Ghoulam would give United a solid building block defensively and, considering his age, he would hit his prime right around the same time other United players will, such as Phil Jones, David De Gea and Eric Bailly, to name a few. Adding the Algeria international would allow United to create a stable defensive line for the short-, medium-, and long-term picture.
It remains to be seen whether Napoli want to part ways with Ghoulam, but United must do everything they can to acquire him. He is the kind of player that can effectively impact the game on both ends of the pitch. And that’s a quality United have lacked in recent years.