Former Tottenham Hotspur man Darren Bent has suggested that Manchester United could sign Eric Dier as a replacement for Fred.
Dier has been struggling with a hip injury, while Fred has been in and out of the United team so far this season.
However, in an exclusive interview with Football Insider, Bent suggested a deal could be on the cards, as he believes the Brazil international doesn’t provide enough defensive cover.
He said: “Even someone like Manchester United could do with him, a holding midfielder – don’t play Fred there (as) a holding midfielder, he [Dier] plays holding, [Paul] Pogba plays next to him where he can go and have a free role.
“That wouldn’t be a bad signing for them because he is someone that knows his role, will sit there in front of the back four and give that back four protection.” (Source: Football Insider)
Signing Dier as a shield in front of the defence, when a player of the same ilk in Nemanja Matic has already struggled to hold down a position in the United team, would be a terrible decision from the club. Last season showed that the two defensive midfielders were virtually similar in the defensive side of the game. In the 2018/19 league campaign, Matic averaged under 2 in every defensive category according to WhoScored – including tackles and interceptions – while Dier averaged no better in those particular areas.
For comparison’s sake, 34-year-old Fernandinho, who does a similar job for Manchester City, averaged more across those categories than both players, as the Citizens went on to become champions last season.
Replacing like for like will only see the Old Trafford giants continue to struggle. Dier’s statistics show he’ll only provide more of the same in terms of covering the defence whose shortcomings have led to United laying in 12th place in the Premier League.
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