Friday, August 12, 2022

Manchester United Identify Real Madrid Midfielder As Priority Summer Target: Right Choice For Ole?

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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 Monday’s print edition of Sport (via Sport Witness), Manchester United are showing interest in securing the signature of Federico Valverde from Real Madrid this summer. The same source has stated that the Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the Uruguayan midfielder ‘one of the priorities’ ahead of the summer transfer window. However, it ‘will be almost impossible’ for them to pull off such a transfer as Los Blancos are unwilling to cash in on their prized asset in the off-season (via Sport).

Valverde’s Solid Season At The Spanish Capital

The 21-year-old has enjoyed another impressive campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after putting in several battling displays at the heart of Zinedine Zidane’s midfield. He has scored two goals and grabbed four assists in 32 matches for the Spanish giants this term in all competitions which goes to show that he can make a few positive contributions going forward.

More importantly, Valverde has averaged 1.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 0.5 clearances per game in the La Liga this season (stats via whoscored). However, he has done slightly better in the UEFA Champions League where he is averaging 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 0.6 clearances in every 90 minutes of football (stats via whoscored).

At such a tender age, the Montevideo-born prospect has already secured 20 senior caps for the Uruguayan national team, scoring two goals for his nation in the process. He will be expected to play a vital role for his homeland in the next edition of the Copa America which is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2021.

What Will The Uruguay International Add To Solskjaer’s Team?

Valverde has often been deployed in a box to box role at the centre of the park this season, but he can also fill in as a holding midfielder if required. The South American sensation excels at playing short, crisp passes with others around him and can cook up some decent goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates in the final third. However, he needs to add more goals to his game if he wants to become a more accomplished midfielder in the future.

Is Valverde The Right Choice For The Red Devils?

A player of Valverde’s potential will undeniably be a massive coup for Man United if they can find a way to lure him to Old Trafford during the summer transfer period. He is a decent all-around midfielder and has the ceiling to break into the world-class bracket someday. The Uruguayan talent will be an upgrade over Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred as he will offer much more consistency on the field.

There is no denying that Valverde will be an excellent choice for the Red Devils, but it won’t be easy for them to orchestrate a deal to bring him to the Theatre of Dreams when Madrid are not willing to entertain any offers for the player this summer. Furthermore, he hardly gives away the ball as evidenced by his pass success rate of 87.3% in the Spanish top-flight this season (stats via whoscored). Hence, we can expect him to make a smooth transition to life at Old Trafford if he ever decides to make a switch to Manchester someday.

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