Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ex Player Says Napoli May Struggle To Keep Hold Of Star: Should Manchester United Make A Move?

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Champions League football is one of the biggest attraction for the top players in the world. When you are arguably one of the best centre-backs in Europe, it would be difficult for the club to keep hold of you without being in the elite competition. Napoli could face the same fate as they may find it tough to retain the services of the Kalidou Koulibaly if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Now former Napoli star Andrea Dossena has stated that should they fail to get into Champions League spot, they should be prepared to lose some their players, including the star defender. In an interview with Stats Perform News (as cited by Goal), he has said, “To get nine points back from Atalanta is a mammoth challenge so should Napoli not clinch a Champions League berth, they should sell some players.”

“The two most valued are Fabian Ruiz and Koulibaly; the latter is the most likely to leave. Physical and speedy, he is one of the best central defenders in the world and can have his say in the Premier League, too.”

What does it mean for Manchester United?

Man United have invested heavily in their backline bringing in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka last season. Although the team did not start the term well in the defensive department, gradually they found their form back, and before the season had been halted abruptly by the recent pandemic, the team started to look a lot more organised at the back. However, the inclusion of a player of Koulibaly’s stature would further boost the back four of the side immensely, and Solskjær could finally have a reliable partnership at his disposal.

Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 17, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The partnership of Koulibaly and Maguire

Victor Lindelöf has partnered Maguire at the back for the majority of the season, while Eric Bailly has recovered from an injury. However, as it has been seen, none of these players has been as solid at the back as Maguire. This is where the need for a new centre-back has arisen at the club, and the transfer of Koulibaly would be considered the ultimate success for the board.

The Senegalese, at this moment, is one of the best defenders of the world and his characteristics are ideal for the Red Devils. A robust player, the Napoli man is a physical specimen standing at 195 centimetres, and this raw physicality makes it very hard for opposition attackers to move past him. He is capable of producing clean tackles and clearing the ball. This can be demonstrated by the fact that he has racked up 2.6 tackles and 2.8 clearances per game in the Serie A this season.

The ex-Genk man is also an avid passer of the ball, which can help his side in their build-up play. Man United are known to play a brand of football which depends on the defenders making a pass across the field to the wingers who are positioned in the opposition half. In this sense, Koulibaly could be an ideal man for this side as he has delivered 4.3 long balls every 90 minutes this season.

However, if there is one spot that this maverick defender can do better is his disciplinary record, as often he has been prone to committing fouls, which have been costly to his side. Overall, we can say that the partnership of Koulibaly and Maguire could do wonders for the team for a long time to come, and the board should pounce upon this opportunity to sign him.

Stats from Whoscored.

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