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Manchester United Monitoring The Progress Of Ligue 1 Full-Back: 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 Wednesday’s print edition of L’Equipe (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Manchester United are among several clubs keeping tabs on the progress of Rennes defender Faitout Maouassa. The same source has also revealed that the French full-back has just over a year left in his current contract at the Roazhon Park which could mean that the French club will be tempted to cash in on their prized asset if they receive an offer that exceeds €10-12m which the Red Devils could easily afford (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Maouassa’s Recent Emergence In French Football

The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season in the Ligue 1 after producing a string of eye-catching displays on the left side of Julien Stéphan’s defence. He has scored three goals and grabbed two assists in 32 appearances for the French outfit this term in all competitions. The Villepinte-born talent has also averaged 0.5 shots, 0.7 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per game in the Ligue 1 and the UEFA Europa League which highlight just how productive he has been for his current employers going forward (stats via whoscored).

Defensively, Maouassa has averaged 2.0 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 2.0 clearances in every 90 minutes of the French top-flight and European football this season (stats via whoscored). His stats prove that he is more than a strong presence inside his own half and does his fair share of defending when being tested at the back.

The former AS Nancy starlet has also represented France at various youth ranks. However, he has also been offered the opportunity to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo at the senior level as his parents hail from the African nation.

Rennes French midfielder Faitout Maouassa celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais Football Club and Montpellier Herault SC at the Roazhon Park, in Rennes, northwestern France, on March 8, 2020. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

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

Maouassa has shown a lot of glimpses of his potential this season and has successfully established himself as a fan-favourite at the Roazhon Park. He can use his quickness and burst of pace to make some driving runs with the ball down the left flank. The Frenchman also packs a lot of power with his shots from long range and more importantly, he has transformed himself into a capable defender at the back. He has produced some vital interceptions and last-gasp clearances for his side which has enhanced his reputation in France.

Maouassa is quite tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 84.8% of his attempted passes in the Europa League this season (stats via whoscored). Hence, he should be an excellent fit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s style of play at Old Trafford as he possesses the ability to play the ball out from the back. The French defender will not only add another layer to Man United’s attack but also provide some healthy competition for the likes of Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams in the years to come.

Shaw has often struggled with random injuries while Williams is still too inexperienced to feature at the highest level week in week out. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for Solskjaer to bring some added competition for them in the form of Maouassa so that they can all push each other to get better over the next few seasons.

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