Manchester United entered a whole new era in the club’s history with the appointment of Jose Mourinho this summer. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils have craved for success but the likes of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failed to deliver. Mourinho is someone who knows success very closely having achieved it at every club he managed, be it FC Porto or Chelsea. However, after seven games in the Premier League, the Red Devils find themselves in a position five points off the top.
Jose Mourinho will look forward to the winter transfer window in order to strengthen his first team. A position that needs reinforcement is the left-back position. Luke Shaw is a brilliant left-back but has always been susceptible to injuries and was publicly criticized by Mourinho last month. Daley Blind is versatile enough to provide cover for the English international whereas we are yet to see if Mourinho rates Cameron Borthwick-Jackson or not.
The Daily Mail have come up with a report that Manchester United are lining up a move for Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo. The English media house also claim that Manchester United scouts watched the left-back producing an excellent display in a 4-0 win over Feirense on Sunday. Sky Sports claim that United are not the only English giants keeping an eye on the 21-year-old but rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are also keeping tabs.
Grimaldo got his football education first at the academy of Valencia and then moved to La Masia at the age of 13. The two best football academies in Spanish football nurturing the youngster had a big say on his progress. The Spanish under-21 international is an excellent modern-day left-back. The Spaniard loves to bomb forward and is a menace when he is on the move.
Grimaldo only joined Benfica in a £1.25m deal from Barcelona in January and has featured 14 times for the Eagles till date. Out of them, 9 came this season as he established himself as the club’s first-choice left back. Just nine games this season and already four assists to his name- that is enough to state how good he is when he bursts forward.
What the stats say
As you expect from a La Masia graduate, Grimaldo is a great passer of the ball and his passing accuracy this season has been 80.9%. The 21-year-old loves to test the keeper from a long distance and has as many as 1.9 shots per game.
The Spaniard has registered an average of 1.6 key passes and 1.1 crosses every game this season and that speaks for his brilliant ability to create from defence. On top of that, he is a set-piece specialist and proved it by scoring a sensational free-kick against Feirense on Sunday in their 4-0 win.
While we speak highly about Grimaldo’s attacking duties, don’t presume that he is not a good defender. The full-back has made as many as 2.6 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and 1.6 clearances every game this season. There are plenty of attacking full-backs nowadays in world football but most of them make their team vulnerable defensively. Grimaldo does not seem like one of those. The Spaniard has a big future ahead of him and can be a big success at Old Trafford is the Red Devils can wrap up his signing.
Stats via Whoscored