Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Manchester United Have Identified Juventus Star As Sancho Replacement: Right Decision By The Club?

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Manchester United need an attacking player in the summer to be a serious contender next season, and they had made Jadon Sancho a potential target. However, the stellar performances of the player mean that Borussia Dortmund would ask for a hefty price for the Englishman, thus forcing the board to look elsewhere.

Daily Mail now reports that the club have identified Federico Bernardeschi as an alternative to Sancho as the board would like to have the Juventus man if they cannot get a deal done for the English youngster. The report also mentions that Ole Gunnar Solskjær is in desperate need of a winger, thus the need for a replacement.

Bernardeschi’s performance in Serie A

Once heralded as the next big thing from Italy, the 26-year-old had done wonders for his previous club Fiorentina which secured him a move to Juventus. His initial development had been rapid as he became a first-team regular for La Viola in a very short period, which instigated the Turin based side to shell out a massive transfer fee for the talented youngster in 2017.

Since then, Bernardeschi’s progress has stalled. The biggest difficulty the club has faced with him is accommodating the player week in week out and very often he has had to wait on the bench for a chance. In Juve, there were players like Dybala, Costa and Cuadrado who were ahead of him in the pecking order.

Add to that, the squad also had Mandzukic and Higuain to place in the starting eleven, and that meant selection worries and limited game time for the talented player. This also gave rise to another problem as the manager had to play Federico Bernardeschi at different slots; sometimes in the central-midfield, as a second striker or his preferred position, the right-wing.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United applauds the travelling fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The selection woes got even more prominent when Ronaldo joined the club and this season Bernardeschi has played only 18 matches in the league, nine out of which have been from the bench. These issues have combined to stunt the growth of a once bright player and Manchester United must aware of the same.

Is he still worth a shot?

The COVID-19 pandemic has toppled the plans of all the clubs of the world, and now they must act on a smaller budget. Man United are no exception, and therefore they must decide for themselves whether they would be able to meet Juventus’ demand for a relatively unproven player.

Having considered this, it should be kept in mind that Bernardeschi is a decent passer of the ball, raking up a figure of 84.2% of successful passes this season in the league. The Italian also likes to hit long balls from the midfield, which would be an important quality for any midfielder joining the United side. This term he has also displayed a knack of crossing the ball to the forwards of his team, a facet from which players like Marcus Rashford can benefit from.

Overall, it can be safely concluded that bringing in Federico Bernardeschi would be a gamble, one which the United manager would not want to take, but maybe forced to at a time when finances have been the bigger worry for the clubs.

Stats from Whoscored.

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