Sunday, June 26, 2022

Manchester United Keen On Signing 31 Y/O Chelsea Powerhouse: A Gamble Worth Taking?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from The Mirror reveal that Manchester United are keen on signing Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante in the upcoming transfer window as Erik Ten Hag believes that the 31-year-old still has the ability, experience and hunger to be of service in the rebuild.

Aurelien Tchouameni, Frenkie de Jong, and Declan Rice are all on the Dutchman’s wish list, but N’Golo Kante seems to be the most attainable target as Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a host of changes after Todd Boehly’s £4.25 billion takeover. Furthermore, with a year left on the Frenchman’s contract, the club hasn’t been able to offer him a contract extension yet.

N’Golo Kante joined Chelsea from fellow Premier League club Leicester City in the summer of 2016 for a fee in the region of £32 million. Over the last seven years, he has featured 258 times for the Blues, winning the Premier League (2017), FA Cup (2018), Europa League (2018/19), Champions League (2020/21) and Super Cup (2021/22). Given his achievements at the top level, it would be an understatement to say that he has had quite a successful career as a midfielder at Stamford Bridge.

Lille's Jonathan David
Lille’s Canadian forward Jonathan David (L) fights for the ball with Chelsea’s French midfielder N’Golo Kante during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Lille (LOSC) and Chelsea FC at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, northern France, on March 16, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
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Despite missing out on chunks of the season due to injuries, he has managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board this term – averaging 2.2 tackles, one interception, 0.5 shots, 0.9 key passes, 1.5 dribbles, and 1.3 long balls per 90 minutes in the English top-flight (calculated over 24 appearances).

A Gamble Worth Taking?

Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are all likely to leave the club in the summer transfer window when their contracts expire. Besides, the Mc-Fred double pivot has let the team down on countless occasions. There are way too many holes that need to be filled to bring this dysfunctional side back on track.

Under such circumstances, Kante’s arrival at The Theatre of Dreams will undeniably strengthen Ten Hag’s midfield department, and he could potentially be one of the many pieces the Dutch tactician needs to stabilise United’s midfield proceedings.

At 31, the Paris-born midfielder is certainly past his prime, but given the pathetic state of United’s present midfield, this gamble might as well be worth taking.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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