Manchester United are looking to sign off this summer’s successful transfer window with a last ditch attempt for Monaco full-back Fabinho. Jose Mourinho came in and was briskly off the mark as he signed Bailly to shore up their defence and on early evidence, he might well be the best centre-back signing this summer. And along with deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the world-record deal for Paul Pogba, Mourinho has sent across a stern signal of intent to the rest of the league. One of his early targets at the club was the restoration of the fear factor associated with Manchester United. And Jose has been successful. Period.
But the squad is not flawless. No squad is. And one of the positions which has got for the fans and club to be nervously glancing at the squad sheet is the right-back slot. Yes, Valencia has flown off the blocks this season and has been pretty phenomenal attacking-wise thus far. And Ander Herrera has even gone on to brand his teammate as the ‘best right-back in the world right now’. While the jury is still out on that particular fond thought from Ander, it might be argued he is their best option on the team right now.
Surprisingly, Darmian has not been able to convince Mourinho and has not seen any action till now. Another option available is another make-shift player Fosu-Mensah who is still inexperienced. All these with the possibility of Valencia succumbing to one of his yearly injury sabbaticals has raised the question of Manchester United re-igniting their long-standing interest in the Brazilian.
In the season of reunions, it will not look out of place at all. Jose Mourinho gave the player his debut at Real Madrid and after Jose moved on, the player went off to Monaco. Mourinho expects a certain amount of intelligence and tactical nous from his full-backs and it is something the Monaco man possesses in abundance. He is measured in his actions, rarely diving in and never surrendering positional advantage. He tackles cleanly, anticipates plays well and nips in to steal possession often.
Mourinho traditionally prefers tall and strong players and he fits the bill. While he paints a funny picture while pushing forward with his lanky strides, it is oddly effective. His composure on the ball and his passing range stands out. And while Valencia, Darmian and Mensah are all well and good, Fabinho certainly provides an upgrade on all of them.