It’s not a secret that Manchester United must strengthen their defence during the transfer market. In fact, one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priorities is to sign at least one quality centre-back in order to bolster the squad’s depth on the defensive line. The biggest problem is that United have already missed out on their top two transfer target.
The Red Devils were keen on Matthijs de Ligt and Kalidou Koulibaly, but received negative responses on both players. With that in mind, United have turned their attention to Rúben Dias. The talented Benfica prospect is considered to be one of the best up-and-coming centre-backs in Europe, and several sides have already set their sights on him. But who is this 21-year-old everyone seems to be talking about?
Benfica’s best prospect after Joao Felix?
It would be unfair to call Dias as the best Benfica prospect given The Eagles have Joao Felix on their current squad. However, Dias has incredible upside and has already established himself as a regular for the Portuguese giants. During the 2018-19 season, he made 32 appearances (all of them starts) at centre-back, registering three goals and delivering one assist. However, one area where he needs to improve is his aggressiveness. He earned 10 yellow cards in league play, and he needs to correct that if he is to make the jump to the Premier League.
But since words are not enough to describe how good Dias was this past season, here’s a video showing some of his best moments over the 2018/19 campaign.
It’s easy to see why United are interested on his services. Dias looks mature beyond his years, composed on the ball, and is an energetic player as well. He has excellent ball-playing skills for a centre-back, and is not afraid of making a tackle either. And to make things even better, he already stands at 6’1″ despite being only 22 years old. He already has the size and the tactical awareness to be a huge physical presence. If he could bulk up a bit, he would become a monster on both sides of the ball when the chance arises.
Will there be a bidding war for his services?
Not yet, but one thing is certain: United will have to compete with several teams for his services.
Benfica have not shown any willingness to part ways with Dias. However, they’ll sell him if they get a good offer for his services. Valued at €28 million according to Transfermarkt, Dias has a €60M release clause. Atletico Madrid already enquired about him, and United might get in the mix as well. The same goes for Juventus, Manchester City, and virtually every top club in Europe looking to bolster their defence.
The Red Devils, however, should go all the way to acquire him. If they can’t sign De Ligt, then adding Dias would give the side a considerably quality boost on the defensive unit. Something the club has been needing for years now.