Even though the 2018 FIFA World Cup has taken over the football world during the past month, there is still a lot of action when it comes to club football. Most notably, we are just starting the transfer period so we will have around 45 more days of rumours, potential deals and new signings involving some of the top teams in the world. And Manchester United are not any different.
The Red Devils have already made a few moves. They signed Fred, from Shakhtar Donetsk, to bolster their midfield and replace Michael Carrick. Lee Grant arrived to add depth between the posts, allowing Joel Pereira to go out on loan and earn some much-needed playing time. And we also inked Diogo Valot, a full-back that is considered one of the best young talents at the position all over Europe, to a permanent deal. However, United have not finished making business yet. They could add “at least” one or two more names.
One of the areas Manchester United should try to resolve is the dilemma of the left winger. Sure, they brought Alexis Sanchez during the January transfer window to fill that role, but he fits better on the opposite flank. And neither Marcus Rashford nor Anthony Martial are specialists on that position, either.. plus, we might not even have Martial in the team once the league campaign starts next month. So while adding a centre-back seems like the club’s top priority at the moment, trying to add a proven left winger could be a smart move as well… although there would need to be emphasis on the word PROVEN. Manchester United do not need a prospect anymore. They need to sign someone who can be ready to step up and contribute from Day 1.
Ladies and gentleman, enter… Ivan Perisic. Yes, just like last year. And no, this is not a “deja vú” piece from last season.
Why does Perisic makes sense… again?
The Croatia international was a reported target for Manchester United last season, but there was no chance to reach an agreement with Inter Milan. The Serie A side wanted around £50 million to get the deal done and by that time, it seemed excessive. Fast forward one year, however, and Perisic is certainly worth the price tag. He played a huge role in Inter’s return to the UEFA Champions League, as he contributed with 11 goals and nine assists across 37 league appearances. That kind of versatility could be huge for Manchester United, since Perisic can both score and assist with equal ease.
However, the 29-year-old has taken his play to another level during the World Cup. He was inmense in the semi-finals against England with one goal and one assist, but has been one of the best players for Croatia throughout the tournament. And if Inter did not want to part ways with him 12 months ago, they won’t do it now. Not when he is playing at his best. Nonetheless, The Red Devils should try and, at least, knock on the door when it comes to potentially adding Perisic. At the very least they could submit an offer to see if Inter bite.
A great fit that might never arrive
Perisic has proven he can become an instant upgrade over the current in-house options, and this would allow the team to part ways with Martial without suffering too much. Can you imagine the pace of an attacking trio with Perisic, Sanchez and Jesse Lingard playing behind Romelu Lukaku? That combination could tore opposing defences apart!
Yes, Perisic will be expensive. And yes, there is a big chance Inter Milan will reject any offers for him, especially since they will play in the Champions League next season. But it doesn’t hurt to try one more time. Jose Mourinho wants him, and he would be perfect to headline United’s left wing. Especially after what he has done in the World Cup.