Talking Tactics: Who Is Manchester United’s New Target Anderson Talisca?

There has been a lot of talk regarding another transfer between Manchester United and Benfica.

Manchester United already improved their defence with the arrival of Victor Lindelöf, but they won’t stop there. Now they are reportedly interested in another player from the Portuguese giants: Anderson Talisca.

Talisca might be an unknown player for the average football fan, but there is no question he is talented. In fact, Talisca gained European recognition last season playing for Besiktas. He went to the Turkish Super League giants looking for regular first-team football, and ended becoming one of the top players on the team. Talisca contributed with 13 goals in 22 appearances to Besiktas’ title-winning campaign. He finished with 17 goals and six assists in 33 matches across all competitions.

Who Is Anderson Talisca?

As we mentioned above, Talisca is a 23-year-old attacking midfielder who is coming off a stellar season with Besiktas. But we shouldn’t judge him only by his numbers, because there are lots of things to like about him. He can fill several roles in midfield, but he is better suited to play as an attacking midfielder. And he can thrive on the wing as well, although he is not a natural winger. He can become quite a threat as an inside forward thanks to his pace and technical ability. And at 23 years of age, he has several years left for improvement before hitting his prime.

His contract situation is a bit complicated, though, and that might freeze things when it comes to a potential transfer. Talisca was sent out on loan to Besiktas nearing the end of transfer window last season, but the deal was a two-year loan. This means Talisca will only return to Benfica ahead of the 2018/2019 campaign. Benfica might decide to sell him either way. But United – or any team that wants him, for that matter – will probably have to overpay considering the kind of season he had in Turkey.

Transfermarkt has him valued at €13 million. But make no mistake – he will not leave Benfica for anything less than €25 million.

Where Would He Played At United?

This is where things get a bit tricky. We mentioned before he thrives as an attacking midfielder, and during his Besiktas stint he mostly featured on a central role behind the striker. But unless Jose Mourinho decides to move Paul Pogba into a CM role, Talisca is not going to push him out of his role. So all signs indicate Talisca would have to settle for a place on the wing.

As a left-footed, he would fit nicely on the right wing. It would allow him to cut inside and thrive as an inside forward, where he could use his strong shot to create havoc from outside the box. Based on this scenario, Talisca would have to fight with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata for a place on the right wing.

But we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves with this. United have to complete the signing first, and then the coaching staff will decide what is the better role for him. But considering his age and his playing style, he would be an interesting addition to the squad.

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