Saturday, December 3, 2022

Manchester United Among Clubs Monitoring Ligue 1 Starlet: What Will He Bring To Old Trafford?

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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 RMC Sport, Manchester United will battle with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in pursuit of Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga this summer. The same source has also mentioned that the French outfit will try to keep hold of their prized asset if they can secure UEFA Champions League qualification this season with the Red Devils among several teams hoping to seal a move for the player. It is understood that if Rennes fail to ensure Champions League football next season, then they will demand a fee as high as €60m for the talented starlet (via RMC Sport).

Camavinga’s Incredible Rise At Roazhon Park

The 17-year-old has earned a lot of plaudits for his eye-catching performances at the heart of Julien Stéphan’s midfield. Camavinga has established himself as a favourite among the Rennes fans after featuring in 36 matches for his boyhood team this term, netting one goal and grabbing two assists on all fronts. At such a tender age, he has already started contributing by scoring or creating the odd goal while operating as the defensive midfielder, which explains why so many top clubs are chasing after his signature this summer.

The Rennes academy graduate has averaged 4.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 clearances in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored) which goes to show his growing influence on the defensive end of the field. Back in November, Camavinga made his debut for the French Under-21 team in what was an important UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifier against Georgia. The talented teenager has shown a few glimpses of his true potential this season and has all the skillset to become a senior international for France someday if he can continue to get better with each season.

What Will The French Youngster Bring To The Theatre Of Dreams?

Camavinga can use his mobility to cover a lot of ground and make recovering runs inside his own half. He is a hard-working presence in midfield and can also make a few driving runs with the ball towards the opposition penalty area.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (R) fights for the ball with Rennes’ midfielder Eduardo Camavinga during the French Trophy of Champions football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Rennes (SRFC) at the Shenzhen Universiade Stadium in Shenzhen on August 3, 2019. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

The French midfield ace can retain possession well for his team after completing 87.7% of his attempted passes in league football this season (stats via whoscored). He is also not shy of getting stuck in with some crunching tackles to win the ball back for his side. Plus, the promising youngster can also scan the danger quickly, which allows him to pull off some vital last-ditch clearances at the back.

Camavinga ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer generally expects from his younger players. At the moment, the French whizkid might struggle to get into the Man United starting XI, but in due time, he could turn out to be a perfect long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic at the centre of the Red Devils’ midfield.

The Rennes prospect has already shown enough in the French first division to earn a permanent place in Solskjaer’s match-day squad next season because he will be able to provide more competition for the likes of Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred at Old Trafford.

However, it’s quite easy to overlook the fact that Camavinga is just 17 and is still quite a raw talent and so the Mancunian giants will need to be patient with him if they end up winning the race to land him before the start of the new season. Camavinga will not only add some bite and steel to Solskjaer’s midfield but also enhance the overall depth of his squad. Furthermore, he will provide the Norwegian head coach with the freedom to experiment more with his formations, tactics and team selections in the coming seasons.

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