Manchester United have barely spent a week since the January transfer window ended and the rumours about potential new signings are already springing around. This time, English media report that the club is in advanced talks with AS Monaco regarding midfielder Fabinho.
The Devils have been heavily linked with Fabinho ever since Monaco won the Ligue 1 title in 2017. The Brazilian was part of an incredible team that managed to end PSG’s hegemony and win the trophy for the first time since 1999. Fabinho was a big part of that successful campaign, as he also played a key role in team’s Champions League results.
The Reported Fee Would Be £44m
Monaco reached semifinals of the competition after beating both Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, before going out to Juventus. The player’s performances did not go unnoticed, but United have not managed to sign him in summer nor in the winter. However, if the well-known and reputable Gianluca Di Marzio is to be trusted, the Devils are in advanced talks with Monaco.
The fee of £44m is also mentioned in this conversation. If that really is the case, that is not too big of a price for the current market, providing Fabinho would continue to show performances as he is at Monaco. The Brazilian is 24 years old and this season he contributed with four goals and three assists from 22 Ligue 1 appearances, from defensive midfield.
His physicality in the game could be a good thing for him if he comes to England. He is very energetic and is used to covering lots of space during the match. Fabinho is good in aerial duels, even though he is a bit short off 6′ 2” and can offer a lot in both areas of the pitch.
How Good Is Fabinho?
At Monaco, he has been known for his good tackling and recovering the ball. Yet, it should not be forgotten that Fabinho is also good with the ball at his feet. He is pretty solid in possession, always with over 80 percent of successful passes. He rarely loses the ball with 0.6 dispossessions per 90 being his career average.
If that is not good enough, he is also pretty good with dribbling past players for a defensive/central midfielder. Fabinho does not do that too often, but his success rate is 71.3 percent. That is quite reliable ratio. Yet, he mostly shines in defensive areas of the pitch. Since the start of last season, Fabinho averages 3.47 successful tackles per 90 minutes. His ratio is around 66 percent, which means he is successful in two out of three tackles he attempts.
This means players managed to get past him in 1.79 situations per 90 minutes, which is a bit higher number, especially for his position. However, it should be careful about this stat, as Fabinho played for Monaco mostly in a flat 4-4-2. That means less midfielders and more space for other players to get past him. Imagine Fabinho alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation and the Brazilian should show even better performances.
It should be said, all of this still a bit of “what if”. Manchester United still have not bought Fabinho and it remains to be seen what will actually happen. If he joins United, he could offer more steel to this side and at 24, he could still improve at Old Trafford.