Thursday, March 30, 2023

Middlesbrough Should Look Beyond This Manchester United Starlet In The Transfer Window

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Karanka revealed after the pre-season game against Aston Villa that he is not done with his transfer business at Boro and that he wanted to add some more defensive cover to the squad going into the next season. This has seen the club make a move for Patrick McNair of Manchester United this summer. The manager is set to miss the services of first choice center backs Daniel Ayala and the new signing Bernardo Espinosa who are both out due to injury problems (though they returned to preseason training recently) and is expected to use Alex Baptiste or Dael Fry, two players with hardly any experience in the Premier League for the first few games in the season.

This has seen the manager make a move for the out-of-favor defender at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho, who is currently in charge of the Manchester United squad, has revealed recently that McNair may not be able to find enough game time at the club and advised him to look for other clubs to play for in the next season on loan. And it is now understood that Aitor Karanka, who is a close friend of Jose Mourinho, is ready to make a swoop for him this summer. But how much sense does this move make?

The newly promoted Middlesbrough were one of the best sides defensively not only in the Championship but also all over the England domestic circuit. They have a decent defensive line with Daniel Ayala proving to be an excellent choice at centre-back. He is likely to start the season at the back for the club (after he recovers from his injury) and is expected to be partnered by Ben Gibson (who is currently the only fit first choice center back) or Bernardo Espinosa (the new summer signing who has already strengthened their defense) for most of the season. The trio will have the likes of Alex Baptiste and Dael Fry who will act as understudies and will provide enough competition and cover for the back line. Marten de Roon has also done his job in a defensive midfield role providing enough cover for the back four.

In this defensive unit, McNair hardly has a place where he can slot into and his move to Middlesbrough may end with a prolonged place on the bench. Karanka will not want to tinker with the combination that has worked for the side in the Championship and though McNair can add certain attributes to the squad, he is not a man who will take the club to the next level.

The 21-year old needs regular game time under his belt and he will not be able to get the same at the Riverside next season. So a move for the Manchester United youngster is not the right one for Boro or the youngster this summer. He is linked with a move to a number of clubs in England and also in Europe and he will have to evaluate his options before making a decision on his future. Do you think Karanka should make a move for the Manchester United defender this summer?

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