At this point, it seems Manchester United will undoubtedly strengthen their defence once the current season ends.
Right now there is decent depth all over the defensive line, but particularly on the centre-back role. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo and even Daley Blind could play on that role, but there is one BIG problem. Overall, their performances have been… underwhelming, at best. Bailly aside, the other players have underperformed massively, making the need to find at least one new centre-back this summer an urgent one.
ne name that once again sneaked into the team’s agenda is the one of Stefan de Vrij. The Lazio star and Netherlands international is poised to sign a new deal with the Serie A giants, but that has not stopped teams from enquirying about him. In fact, Chelsea and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in the defender as well.
It seems the player is keen to a move to England, so there could be some interesting developments here. And even if he signs a new deal, the expectation is that it will contain a release clause of “only” £20m. Basically, this means he could still leave the club if a new offer arrives to Lazio once the summer transfer window opens in January.
Is de Vrij a viable alternative for Manchester United?
But would de Vrij fit in United’s current scheme? Even though the sole fact of him being a centre-back would make him an adequate fit, his playing style makes him an intriguing alterntative. De Vrij has that rare mix of experience, toughness and quality that make him a perfect player for the English Premier League.
And if you want something a bit more updated, we can please you as well:
Both videos are crystal clear. The Dutch international can tackle with the best of them, is quick on his movements, and can intercept attackers with ease while roaming forward if the chance arises. Even though videos can make everyone look like Eden Hazard, we can say de Vrij is the real deal. His swift, yet rough playing style could be the perfect complement for Bailly. And in case Mourinho wants to experiment with a 3-4-1-2 system, de Vrij could easily slot into a three-man defensive line. He has been playing on that system for years in Lazio.
The 26-year-old has started regularly for the Serie A this season, collecting 27 appearances across all competitions with three goals scored, all of them in the Serie A.
Several teams will likely knock on Lazio’s door to see whether de Vrij is available or not. But if we consider his age, playing style, experience and price, then it should be a no-brainer. United should do everything they can to bring him on board. Dutch players like Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy have had a lot of success at Old Trafford in the past. Who says de Vrij can’t follow those footsteps?