Despite having an “abundance” of player who can operate as left-backs (Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, and potentially others such as Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian or even Diogo Dalot), Manchester United’s boss, Jose Mourinho, seems keen on adding a left-back to the side sooner than later. Or at least, that’s what we can understand based on the rumours surrounding the club.
Manchester United have already been linked with names such as Jordi Alba and David Alaba. However, we can now add another name to the list, since The Red Devils are apparently interested in making a move for Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam. The Algerian left-back spent most of last season out due to a knee injury, but this season he has returned to his former self. And reports coming out of England have reported United had a €40 million offer rejected by the Serie A giants.
But would he be an useful addition to the squad?
Even though only a days ago we listed the potential transfer of Jordi Alba as a big mistake, adding Ghoulam wouldn’t be such a bad idea. And no, I’m not saying Ghoulam is a better player than Alba. But the Algerian would be considerably cheaper, while adding the same traits of Alba. Like the Spaniard, he is also an attacking-minded style, a crossing alternative on the left flank, and a fierce defender. In a way, he is pretty similar to Patrice Evra, who spent nearly a decade as United’s starting left-back.
Cost aside, we must note that Ghoulam has a ton of world-class experience despite being only 27 years old. He is about to enter his prime years, but has already featured for Napoli at both the Serie A and Champions League level. He has also represented Algeria at the highest level. And if by any chance you haven’t seen him yet, don’t worry. Here are some of his best plays over the past season:
Only time will tell whether Manchester United decide to make a more aggressive approach for him. However, he would be quite an upgrade over the current in-house alternatives. And in the worst-case scenario, he can be a decent back-up for Shaw. But it wouldn’t hurt to analyse how realistic would be to bring him over to Old Trafford. The quality is certainly there.