Monday, November 28, 2022

Manchester United To Rival Chelsea For La Liga Defender: Good Move By Mourinho?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Reports claim that Manchester United have already come forth with their intentions to sign Sevilla defender, Clement Lenglet but are facing competition from Chelsea. The Red Devils have been keeping tabs on the centre-back for quite a while now as Jose Mourinho plans a summer overhaul of defensive reinforcements.

United have already signed Diogo Dalot from FC Porto, a 19-year-old fullback expected to serve as an understudy to Antonio Valencia. Now Lenglet is being strongly considered as a cemented first team partner to Eric Bailly. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have not performed up to the required standards last term, drawing heavy criticism from both the manager and the fans. Ever since Baily’s unfortunate knee injury earlier in the 2017/18 campaign, the English duo was given majority of the defensive responsibilities but struggled to hit the benchmark.

Mourinho was planning to offload either of the two in the January window itself but decided to look the other way after signing Alexis Sanchez. Now, he will have to fight off interests from his former side to bring in a defender who was able to stop his £75m last summer purchase, Romelu Lukaku.

The Manchester United faithful got to see Lenglet in full force against their own side at Old Trafford last season. Both teams faced off for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and Sevilla ended up winning it on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.

Lenglet was outstanding across both the legs and proved his top-quality defensive abilities against the physically imposing Red Devils. Lukaku was kept quiet for almost the entire two fixtures and even beaten in aerial and physical tussles.

Lenglet came out on top majority of times and acted as key for his side to progress to the next round of the competition. The Beauvais-born defender has been capped 41 times for the France youth teams, 10 of them for the U21 squad.

He made a staggering 54 appearances in his debut season with Sevilla after only signing with them in July 2017 on a 4-year contract. He switched from Ligue 1 outfit, Nancy and only cost €5m, a bargain in the current market.

Lenglet’s arrival solidified the backline of Pablo Machin’s team and has helped the side to the finals of the Copa Del Rey and a quarterfinals finish in the UEFA Champions League this past season.

Read More: Bayern Munich Name Price Tag For Want-Away Hit Man: Should Manchester United Make A Move?

At just 22, he has managed to show signs of a bright future and the footballing maturity to play for one of the elite European teams. Mourinho should waste no time in coming forward with an official bid.

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