Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Manchester United Eyeing A Move For This Liga Portugal Midfielder: Decent Choice For The Red Devils?

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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, The Daily Mirror revealed that Manchester United are eyeing a move for Sporting CP midfielder Joao Palhinha. It is understood that the Red Devils are showing interest in recruiting the Portuguese midfielder despite the player’s recent contract extension with Sporting.

Palhinha’s Impressive Form In Portuguese Football

Palhinha is having a dominant campaign at the José Alvalade Stadium as he has put in a run of impressive displays at the heart of Rúben Amorim’s midfield. The 26-year-old has registered three goals in 30 matches for the Portuguese giants this season across all fronts.

The Sporting talent has given a good account of himself by averaging 3.3 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 1.2 shots and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Liga Portugal. He has even been excellent when distributing possession from midfield after making 86.6% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Manchester United (Joao Palhinha)
Sporting Lisbon’s Portuguese midfielder Joao Palhinha (L) fights for the ball with Benfica’s German midfielder Julian Weigl during the Portuguese Taca da Liga (League Cup) final football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP at the Leiria stadium in Leiria on January 29, 2022. (Photo by PEDRO ROCHA / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO ROCHA/AFP via Getty Images)
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Will Palhinha Be A Good Choice For The Red Devils?

Palhinha is a tough-tackling midfielder who can offer decent protection for his teammates at the back. He is usually quick to spot the danger and can time his challenges well to earn the ball back for his team. The 12-time Portugal international doesn’t mind clearing the danger when the opposition are on the front foot and can take care of the ball well at the centre of the park.

Someone of Palhinha’s skillset will be a welcome addition to Man United‘s match-day squad. We can expect him to inject a lot of quality into the Red Devils‘ midfield. However, there are still some question marks over whether the Sporting star can cope with the physical nature and high intensity of Premier League football.

Furthermore, Palhinha could serve as an ideal replacement for Paul Pogba, who has got less than six months left to run in his contract at Old Trafford. With all things considered, Palhinha will be a good choice for the Mancunian giants as long as the talented midfield ace can make a smooth transition to life in English football.

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