Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Manchester United Trailing Liverpool In Race For This Serie A Defender: What Should Ten Hag Do?

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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 print edition, Tuttosport mentioned that Manchester United are trailing Liverpool in the race for Torino defender Per Schuurs. It is believed that the Red Devils are facing competition from the Reds as well as Tottenham Hotspur in the race to land the Dutch centre-back.

Schuurs’ Impressive Form In Italian Football

Schuurs has been a solid performer at the heart of Torino’s backline during this campaign and has managed to produce a run of impressive displays for them on the defensive third of the field. The 23-year-old has found the back of the net once and picked up two assists in 24 matches for the Italian club this season across all competitions.

The Nieuwstadt-born talent has been a reliable performer at the back based on his average of 1.6 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 3.5 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball from inside his half after completing 87.2% of his attempted passes in the Italian top tier (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Italian club is set to run out in the summer of 2026. Therefore, Man United will have to pay a big fee if they want to bring the Dutch talent to Old Trafford later this year.

Perr Schuurs
MILAN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 10: Brahim Díaz of AC Milan is challenged by Perr Schuurs of Torino during the Serie A match between AC MIlan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 10, 2023 in Milan, . (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

What Should Manchester United Boss Erik Ten Hag Do With Regards To Schuurs?

Schuurs is a good tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to secure the ball back for his team on the defensive end of the field. He doesn’t mind clearing the danger when the opposition are on the offensive.

Standing at 1.91m, the Dutch talent is a towering presence who can win his fair share of 50-50 aerial duels for his team. He excels at playing his way out from the back as well which makes him a good fit for Erik ten Hag’s brand of football at Man United. However, only time will tell whether the Serie A defender can make a smooth transition to life in English football.

Schuurs has what it takes to form a dominant defensive partnership with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane at Old Trafford in the coming seasons. At 23, the Torino star’s best years are ahead of him. Furthermore, we can expect him to bring a lot of bite and steel to ten Hag’s defence and help the Red Devils challenge for multiple trophies in the not-too-distant future. Thus, Man United should think about stepping up their chase to recruit Schuurs this summer.

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