Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Manchester United Monitoring Progress Of League One Defender: A Wise Option For Ole?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Daily Star, Manchester United are keeping tabs on James Hill. The Fleetwood Town defender has attracted a lot of attention with his performances in League One and is set to leave the club either in January or next summer. Manchester United are among the clubs keeping track of the situation, along with Liverpool, Rangers and Southampton.

James Hill’s Success At Fleetwood Town

James Hill has become a revelation at Fleetwood Town since joining their youth setup earlier in his career. He has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence, notably gaining promotion to the senior team in 2019, at the age of just 17.

It didn’t take him long to make his presence felt, with Hill hitting the ground running in his second season with the senior squad. During the 2020/21 campaign, the forward impressed the onlookers with defensive prowess while also featuring in 28 league appearances.

Despite being only 19, Hill has established himself as a core member of Fleetwood’s defensive setup. He has already started three games in the new season, although it appears the League One outfit are succeeding without him in the squad.

Indeed, the Cod Army have either drawn or won their last two matches without Hill, after initially starting the campaign with three back to back losses. Nevertheless, the young centre-back is still highly rated due to his athleticism, pace, defensive prowess, and most importantly, the potential to perform at a higher level.

Manchester United are keeping tabs on James Hill - Does he have what it takes?
Blackpool v Fleetwood Town EFL Sky Bet League 1 13/03/2021. Fleetwood Town s defender James Hill 33 during the EFL Sky Bet League 1 match between Blackpool and Fleetwood Town at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, England on 13 March 2021. Blackpool Bloomfield Road Lancashire England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xPhilipxBryanx PSI-12152-0061

A Good Option For Manchester United?

James Hill is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about defensive prodigies available in League One at the moment. But Manchester United‘s interest in him is rather bizarre for multiple reasons.

It appears head coach Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to sign a young defensive player from the lower league, who has the pedigree to play at the highest level, but at the same time, won’t demand regular game-time.

Liverpool employed a similar policy when they snapped up Ben Davies from Preston in January. But it is perhaps fair to argue that Hill has a much higher ceiling and can actually become a top-class defender if he is nurtured.

Manchester United, to that end, may not be able to offer him the opportunity to succeed, as they already have the likes of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof as their first team options.

A move to a lower end club like Southampton or Burnley, in that regard, might make a lot of sense for Hill as he looks to take the next step in his career.

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