Monday, February 6, 2023

Manchester United To Rival Barcelona For Defensive Midfielder: The Ideal Addition To ten Hag’s Squad?

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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 Mundo Deportivo suggest that Manchester United are keen on signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi in the upcoming transfer window as Erik ten Hag looks set to add to his options in midfield.

‘In Anoeta they are aware that the siren songs of the Premier League have already reached the ears of two of their differential players, Zubimendi and Merino, although the forecast at Real is that in the January market there will be no movement, nor entry or exit of players.’ – the translated version of the report stated.

‘Manchester United is following Martin Zubimendi, a pivot who Xavi Hernández also wants for Barcelona, but that he has just renewed until 2027 with Real.’

Zubimendi penned down a new contract with La Real just six weeks ago, so it’s highly unlikely that he’ll depart the club in January.

Manchester United Coach Erik Ten Hag
Erik ten Hag

The Ideal Addition To ten Hag’s Squad?

Having come through the ranks at Real Sociedad, Martin Zubimendi made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 28 April 2018, coming on as a late substitute for Ruben Pardo in a 2-1 home win over Getafe CF. Over the course of the last four years, the Spaniard has made 114 appearances for La Real, scoring four goals and assisting four more across all competitions.

Even this season, he has managed to put up some decent numbers on the board – averaging 1.6 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.7 clearances, 0.6 blocks and 2.3 long balls per ninety minutes in the Spanish top flight. While he’s primarily a defensive midfielder, his versatility allows him to slot in as a central midfielder in the hour of need.

While Casemiro remains Erik ten Hag’s first-choice defensive midfielder, there’s no doubt that Scott McTominay has been more reliable under the stewardship of the Dutch manager. However, amid the busy schedule, United’s squad has looked thin at times.

At 23, Zubimendi has plenty of experience under his belt and he would be the ideal addition to ten Hag’s squad. Hence, the board should go all in for him in the upcoming transfer window.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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