Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Manchester United Hold Talks With This La Liga Winger’s Representatives: Should Ole Launch A Move?

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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 ESPN, Manchester United had met with Atletico Madrid wide player Thomas Lemar’s representatives last week ahead of a potential move in the summer. The same source has also mentioned that the French dribbler wants to leave the Madrid giants but still has over three years remaining on his contract, which means that he won’t come cheap for the Red Devils.

Lemar’s Underwhelming Spell In Spanish Football

Lemar has failed to live up to the expectations surrounding his high profile move to the Spanish capital from AS Monaco in the summer of 2018. He has only scored three goals and provided six assists in 67 appearances for Atletico across all competitions. However, the Frenchman is yet to score or assist a goal despite playing in 24 matches for Diego Simeone’s side this term which goes to highlight his growing frustrations at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The 24-year-old has averaged 0.4 shots, 0.4 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per game in the La Liga this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers prove just how much he has struggled in the Spanish top-flight but perhaps, making a fresh start elsewhere could help him reignite his old form from his AS Monaco days.

Despite his poor record at the club level, Lemar has managed to impress for the French national side, scoring four goals in 24 matches for Les Bleus so far. Unless the ex-Caen talent can get some form back next season, he is unlikely to be in Didier Deschamps’ plans for the UEFA European Championship which has been rescheduled to kick off in the summer of 2021 due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Monaco’s French midfielder Han-Noah Massengo (L) vies with Atletico Madrid’s French midfielder Thomas Lemar during the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Atletico Madrid and Monaco at the Wanda Metropolitan stadium in Madrid on November 28, 2018. (OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)

What Are The French International’s Best Attributes?

On his day, Lemar can be a dangerous dribbler with the ball at his feet as he can put his pace to good use when taking on his marker down the wide areas. He excels at interchanging possession with his teammates as evidenced by his pass success rate of 82.7% in league football and 90.6% in the UEFA Champions League this season (stats via whoscored).

Should Man United Launch An Offer For Lemar In The Off-Season?

The French winger is struggling to find confidence under Simeone’s tutelage and doesn’t seem to be the right fit for the Madrid giants. Maybe, a switch to Old Trafford might see him resurrect his career in European football if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can guarantee him regular first-team minutes in the coming years. As far as the Red Devils are concerned, they are better off opting for a more proven wide player as Lemar doesn’t seem to be the best option, especially when considering that he might cost a lot of money this summer.

Furthermore, there are no guarantees that the Frenchman will be able to prove himself in the Premier League. If Solskjaer is looking for someone who can boost his squad depth, then Lemar can be a decent option but at what cost?

All in all, it seems like the Mancunian outfit should avoid going in for an underperforming player like Lemar but should instead save their money for a new playmaker who is in the same mould as Bruno Fernandes.

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