Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Update On Manchester United’s Pursuit Of This La Liga Midfielder: Why Ole Needs To Get Deal Done

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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 AS (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Atletico Madrid are experiencing a ‘complicated economic situation’ brought about by the current COVID-19 pandemic which could open the door for Manchester United to seal a move for Saul Niguez this summer. The same source has also mentioned that the Madrid giants might be forced to cash in on their Spanish midfielder so that they can cope with the prospect of missing out on UEFA Champions League football in the upcoming campaign meaning that the Red Devils might be able to land the player for just half the value of his current €150m release clause (via Sport Witness).

Saul’s Remarkable Consistency At The Wanda Metropolitano 

Saul has been showered with a lot of praise for his excellent performances at the centre of Diego Simeone’s midfield in recent seasons. His incredible contributions for the Atletico first-team was rewarded back in 2017 when the Spanish giants decided to offer him a nine-year contract. The Elche-born midfielder has maintained his high standards during this campaign and also played an instrumental role behind his team’s UEFA Champions League last-16 win over Liverpool earlier this year.

The Spaniard has taken part in 37 matches for Simeone’s side this term, netting four goals across multiple competitions. However, the 26-year-old is yet to grab his first assist of this season, which is quite a surprise considering how creative he can be on the ball from midfield.

Saul has impressed a lot defensively after averaging 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the La Liga so far. He boasts a slightly better defensive record in Europe where he has averaged 2.0 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 2.5 clearances in every 90 minutes of Champions League football this season (stats via whoscored). His stats showcase just how invaluable he has been for Atletico at the centre of the park thus making it a massive coup for the Red Devils if they manage to bring him to the Theatre of Dreams this summer.

Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid reatcs during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Girona FC at Wanda Metropolitano on April 02, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

What Will The Spanish Midfield Enforcer Add To Solskjaer’s Side?

Saul has the skillset to influence the game at both ends of the field, which makes him a complete modern-day midfielder. He has shown good football intelligence that enables him to scan the danger quickly and pull off a few crucial interceptions in midfield for his team. The La Liga playmaker can position himself well to mop any danger by making some vital last-gasp clearances when his teammates are getting stretched by the opposition on the counter. He is always willing to commit to the cause by putting his body on the line when trying to stop a goal-bound attempt from the opponent inside his own half.

Why The Mancunian Giants Need To Seal A Move For Saul This Summer

Saul has also been a valuable contributor of goals and assists for his side in the decisive end of the pitch as evidenced by his crucial opening goal versus Liverpool in the Champions League first-leg meeting at the Wanda Metropolitano. His excellent contributions have not remained unnoticed and have made him a firm favourite among the Atletico fans at the Spanish capital. Saul has all the attributes needed to be a success story in the Premier League if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can figure out a way to sign him before the start of the new campaign.

The Atletico star will not only add a lot of quality to the Man United midfield but also serve as an upgrade over Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic at Old Trafford. Plus, he might also be a fantastic replacement for Paul Pogba whose future at Manchester is currently up in smokes as the Red Devils are planning to cash in on him in this off-season (via Calciomercato).

Solskjaer needs to follow up Bruno Fernandes’ exciting acquisition with a few more quality additions this summer and Saul will undoubtedly fall into that bracket of players which the Norwegian head coach can benefit from in the years to come.

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