Friday, September 29, 2023

Manchester United To Rival Chelsea For This Real Madrid Ace: Good Choice For Ten Hag?

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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 Spanish media outlet Fichajes claim that Manchester United are keen on signing Real Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy in the ongoing transfer window as Erik Ten Hag looks set to add to his defensive options ahead of the 2022/23 season.

‘The Red Devils want to strengthen their defense for next season and Ferland Mendy is an interesting option due to his ability to win individual duels. He has the talent to shine in the Premier League and would be an interesting option for Erik Ten Hag. Alex Telles or Luke Shaw have to come out first.’ – the translated version of the report stated.

The arrival of Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea shall see David Alaba move to the left-back position, with Eder Militao and Dani Carvajal already occupying the remaining positions in Carlo Ancelotti’s back four. As a result, Real Madrid will consider offers in the region of 48 million euros to offload Ferland Mendy, the same amount they paid to sign him from Olympique Lyonnais. Simultaneously, the France international does not want to settle for a sporadic role ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, so a move could be on the cards.

Chelsea and Juventus are also interested in securing the player’s services.

Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy
Chelsea’s English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) vies with Real Madrid’s French defender Ferland Mendy during the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 12, 2022. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP) (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)
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Having come through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain and Le Havre, Ferland Mendy signed for Real Madrid from Olympique de Lyon for a fee in the region of £43 million in the summer of 2019. Over the course of the past four years, the 27-year-old has made 105 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring five goals and assisting four more across all competitions. The Frenchman has had plenty of success in the Spanish capital, but his fitness issues have prohibited him from realising his full potential.

Nonetheless, the left-back managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board the last term – averaging 1.1 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 0.9 key passes, 1.6 dribbles, and 1.2 long balls per ninety minutes in the Spanish top-flight.

Good Choice For Ten Hag?

The lack of quality in either full-back position caused immense damage to Manchester United’s ambitions in the past season, with Alex Telles, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Diogo Dalot dropping average performances even on their best day. Given the circumstances, signing a quality left-back should be one of the board’s priorities in the summer transfer window. It’s beyond any doubt that the Red Devils need to upgrade their options in defence to try and solve their issues at the back – and Ferland Mendy would be the perfect replacement for Alex Telles, who is reportedly not a part of Ten Hag’s rebuild plans.

At 27, the French ace 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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