Sunday, May 22, 2022

Manchester United Keeping Tabs On RB Leipzig Defender: Can He End Their Defensive Woes?

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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 French media outlet FootMercato state that Manchester United are keen on signing RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele in the upcoming transfer window as Erik ten Hag looks set to add to his options in defence.

‘According to our information, the Mancunian club has been following him for several years now, and Ralf Rangnick, who will continue to play a strategic role in the club’s organization chart, knows him well. United’s interest could materialize with an offer this summer. But that’s not all. Paris Saint-Germain are also on the case.’ – The translated version of the report stated.

The French right-back is enjoying an excellent season with the Bundesliga outfit this term; however, with his present contract set to expire in June 2023, he is attracting the interest of several top European clubs.

RB Leipzig's Nordi Mukiele
Nordi Mukiele of RB Leipzig in action during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and TSG Hoffenheim at Red Bull Arena on April 10, 2022 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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Having come through the ranks at third-division club Stade Lavallois, Nordi Mukiele signed for RB Leipzig from Montpellier Herault in the summer of 2018 for a fee in the region of £14.40 million. Over the course of the last five years, the 24-year-old has made 145 appearances for RB Leipzig, scoring ten goals and assisting eleven across all competitions.

Even this season, he has managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board – averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.5 clearances, and 1.3 long balls per 90 minutes in the German top-flight (calculated across 28 appearances). Capable of playing as a central defender, right-back, left-back or even a right-sided midfielder, versatility is one of his prime strengths.

Can He End United’s defensive Woes?

The lack of quality in either fullback position has caused immense damage to Manchester United’s ambitions for the season, with Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka dropping average performances even on their best day. Mukiele’s availability is quite tempting to the Red Devils, especially given that some cut-price deals will help the rebuild by allowing them to spend a lot more on the premium players.

At 24, the France international has some of the best years ahead of him, so it won’t be a surprise if he adds an entirely new dimension to United’s dynamic at the back next season.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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