Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Manchester United Make Enquiry For This Juventus Defender: The Right Choice For The Red Devils?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Turkish football, Manchester United have enquired about the possibility of recruiting Juventus defender Merih Demiral in this off-season. The same source has revealed that the Red Devils are keeping a close eye on the progress of the Turkish centre-back and have already made contact with his representatives over a potential move this summer.

In a recent interview with Tam Saha magazine (via Turkish football), Demiral said, “When I was young I always followed Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United. I used to watch clips of him on the internet. He’s still my idol even if he has retired. He was brave, a warrior, never gave up and was a true leader.”

The Rapid Rise Of Merih Demiral In European Football

The 21-year-old came through the youth ranks of Fenerbahce and has played for clubs such as Sporting CP, Alcanenense, Alanyaspor and Sassuolo before his move to Juventus earlier this summer.

Demiral spent the first half of the previous campaign playing for Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig, making 16 top-flight appearances for them while scoring one goal in the process. He sealed a loan move to Sassuolo during the January transfer window and went on to feature in 14 matches while registering two goals for them in the Serie A last season.

The 21-year-old has represented Turkey at various youth levels and has also managed to secure six international caps for his nation at the senior level. On the defensive end, Demiral made an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 5.7 clearances per game for Alanyaspor and Sassuolo respectively in the previous term (stats via whoscored).

What Will The Turkish Talent Bring To The Theatre Of Dreams?

Standing at 1.92m tall, the Turkish youngster is a dominant presence inside his own box as he can win a lot of aerial duels for his team. He is also a potent goal-threat from set-pieces in the opposition half. Demiral can make some crucial interceptions for his side but lacks the pace to recover when left isolated in a 1v1 situation.

Will Demiral Be The Right Choice For Solskjaer?

The acquisition of a commanding centre-back like Demiral is precisely what the doctor ordered at Old Trafford. The Man United defenders were average at best during the last campaign. Thus, it is high time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to address some of their defensive concerns ahead of the new campaign. 

Demiral will be an excellent addition to the Red Devils squad as he will be available for a much lower price than Harry Maguire. The Leicester ace had been linked with a move to the Theatre of Dreams earlier (via the Sun).

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