Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Manchester United Were Hoping To Sign This Bundesliga Starlet: Should Ole Go Back In For Him?

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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 print edition, Sport Bild has revealed that Manchester United were hoping to sign Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Moussa Diaby last summer. However, a move failed to materialise back then as the German side rejected their advances even when the Red Devils were willing to pay ‘up to €50m’ to acquire the services of the French wide player (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Diaby’s Rapid Emergence At The BayArena

Diaby has been a regular feature for Leverkusen this season and has done well to produce a few memorable performances down the left side of Peter Bosz’s attack. He has already netted two goals and grabbed one assist in nine matches for the German outfit this term across multiple competitions.

The 21-year-old has shown some signs of maturity by averaging 1.9 shots, 0.9 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Europa League. The French whizkid has also retained possession well in the attacking third after completing 81.6% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Germany (stats via whoscored).

Diaby is undeniably a player on the rise, so it is no wonder that the Red Devils have shown interest in recruiting him. However, the Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate is still quite raw and would need time before he is ready to perform at a high-level week in week out.

Manchester United were hoping to sign Moussa Diaby last summer (Diaby is seen challenging for the ball in the photo)
Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen is challenged by George Edmundson of Rangers FC during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Rangers FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Ibrox Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

What Are The French Wing Wizard’s Best Attributes?

Diaby is one of the quickest players in German football and can drop his shoulders to breeze past his marker with ease out on the wide areas. He is also an excellent dribbler with the ball and is not shy of having a strike at goal when allowed time and space by the opposition.

The French whizkid can pass the ball accurately but needs to be more clinical in the final third if he wants to become a world-class player in his position someday. Plus, his game still has a lot of room for improvement, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have to be patient with his development if Man United can convince Leverkusen to part ways with their prized asset in the future.

Should The Red Devils Go Back In With Another Bid For Diaby?

Diaby has the potential to become a top-class defender as long as he is willing to work hard towards improving his overall game with each season. Therefore, Man United would be foolish not to go back in with another big-money offer for the French starlet.

Diaby will add a lot of pace to Solskjaer’s frontline and could occasionally contribute by scoring or creating the odd goal from time to time. Furthermore, he will enhance the quality of Man United’s match-day squad, which might help them challenge for multiple trophies in the years to come.

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