Manchester United’s possible transfer targets are always getting a lot of attention in the media. Recently, the players that were connected with a possible move to Old Trafford were Fred of Shakhtar, Fabinho of AS Monaco, while The Sun even went as far as saying that Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic agreed to move to Manchester in a deal worth 80 million pounds.
Whilst all three of those players could improve United and would probably characterized anywhere between “good signing” and “spectacular signing”, there is one name being mentioned that could surprise many. The media are reporting that Manchester United are looking at Sami Khedira as a potential signing this summer. That would be an odd move, to say the least, and here is why.
Sami Khedira Is Not Getting Younger
This is the most obvious problem with Khedira possibly coming to Manchester United. He is 31. And he is not getting any younger. Maybe Jose Mourinho likes more experienced players but he already has some players with a lot of games in their careers. Alexis Sanchez and Nemanja Matic are the recent signings who are either 30 or are approaching 30th birthday. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are deep into their thirties and United to keep building a core of players getting closer to their peak age.
Khedira is not only someone who is 31, but is also past his peak. His season at Juventus has been a decent one in terms of goals scored, but that can only skew the whole picture.
Other than offering solidity in possession and having a clean game – in terms of fouls made – Khedira has not been doing much this season. Yes, his passing is good, but he mostly plays those short passes here and there, rarely trying to create something from direct passes that cut through the lines. If that is the case already, then there are players in current squad who can do that.
As well, Man United are not really a team that needs a player to make the tempo from the centre of the park, as there is not enough movement of players in forward areas. That could change, but Khedira is not the one to be the catalyst for it.
This is another obvious problem. Manchester United cannot afford to buy a 31-year old midfielder who is also slow and defensively poor. He would not offer that much going forwards – unlike some more dynamic players – but going backwards, his game is weak. This season he made 35 tackles in Serie A, but only 14 of them (mere 40 percent) were won by Khedira. In those other 60% of tackles, he was dribbled past.
He is not someone to tackle and intercept, to shield the backline alongside Matic, but neither is he someone to do great things going forwards. Just 0.75 key passes per 90 minutes is quite poor and the best he can offer is more balance in possession. Yet, getting a player obviously past his peak who also happens to have issues with injuries – it would be a poor choice from United.