Thursday, October 6, 2022

Manchester United Really Close On Sealing Deal For Dynamic Duo: What Will They 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.

In a recent report, Sky Sports reporter James Cooper has revealed that Manchester United are closing in on Edinson Cavani, who is set to pen a two-year deal at Old Trafford, while FC Porto’s Alex Telles is also expected to complete his transfer before going off to join the Brazilian national team for the upcoming international break.

Fabrizio Romano has also tweeted that Telles is having his medical with the Red Devils and will sign a contract until the summer of 2025 later today.

Cavani’s Impressive Career At Paris

Cavani is currently a free agent after being released by Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer. The 33-year-old made 301 appearances during his time with the French giants, scoring 200 goals and providing 43 assists in multiple competitions.

However, the Uruguayan international had a dip in form last season when he only netted seven goals in 22 matches as multiple injuries disrupted his progress over the past 12 months. He ended the campaign with an average of 2.0 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.5 dribbles per game in the Ligue 1. Cavani was also tidy when distributing the ball as evident from his pass success rate of 84.2% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Telles’ Incredible Form For Porto Last Season

As far as Telles is concerned, he had a terrific campaign for Porto in the last term when he banged in goals and picked up assists for fun in the Liga NOS. Last season, the Brazilian full-back found the back of the net on 13 occasions and grabbed 12 assists in 49 games for Sérgio Conceição’s side across all fronts.

Telles managed to influence the game in both halves after averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 1.3 shots, 1.8 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per match in the Portuguese top tier. He was even quite neat with his ball-distribution and completed 80.5% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Manchester United closing in on Cavani and Telles (Telles is celebrating in the picture)
FC Porto’s Brazilian defender Alex Telles celebrates after scoring a goal during the Portuguese league football match between FC Porto and Portimonense SC at the Dragao stadium in Porto on February 23, 2020. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will Both Cavani And Telles Bring To The Theatre Of Dreams?

Cavani is an experienced centre-forward who had made a career of scoring goals consistently in the final third. He can still play anywhere across the frontline but has lost a yard of pace from his game as father time is catching up with him. The 116-time Uruguayan international can still play an important role for both his club and country. However, he will struggle to get regular game time at Old Trafford as he will have to fight for his place with Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo.

Recruiting Cavani on a free transfer makes him a low-risk acquisition for the Red Devils as they look to bring in more firepower to kickstart their Premier League season on a positive note after the international break. Plus, the ex-PSG star will also increase competition for places within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and has still got a few years left in him to play at top gear.

In contrast, Telles is a quick and agile full-back who has developed a healthy habit of scoring and creating goals regularly from the left flank. He is also a reliable defensive presence at the back and is quite a challenging man to beat in a 1v1 foot race. Furthermore, the Brazilian will address an area of concern for Solskjaer with Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams both struggling to give a good account of themselves in the left-back position.

Both Cavani and Telles could potentially strengthen the Man United squad considerably. Still, there are some question marks over whether the South American duo will be able to cope with the physical nature and high intensity of Premier League football week in week out.

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