The Manchester United fans in the Transfer Tavern have become deeply concerned by reports linking both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with transfers away from the club in recent weeks, and reports concerning a potential move for Richarlison are doing nothing to ease their fears.
There is plenty of competition for attacking places in Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven right now, which is the sign of a healthy squad for any side chasing honours on multiple fronts. However, rumours emerging from the club seem to imply that Rashford and Martial are eager for a guarantee of first-team football, which is understandable given their level of quality.
Whether they will eventually leave the club or not remains to be seen, but their decision could be swayed by United’s transfer activity this summer. According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils are leading the race to sign Watford’s Richarlison this summer ahead of the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
Although Richarlison has shown flashes of brilliance for the Hornets this season, both the quality and consistency of his performances have fallen short of the standard that United require to bridge the gulf in class between themselves and Manchester City next season. Mourinho would be wise to abandon his pursuit of the young Brazilian and do everything he can to convince Martial and Rashford to remain at Old Trafford.
However, the extent of Watford’s individual quality does not start and end with Richarlison, as the performances of Abdoulaye Doucoure (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt) this season heavily imply that he is ready for a step up to a top-four club next season.
Doucoure has been in brilliant form for the Hornets in a box-to-box midfield role, and his ability to influence the game in the final-third of the pitch is backed up by his record this season. In 33 appearances the 25-year-old has managed to score 7 goals and provide 3 assists and, considering this is his first full season in Watford’s starting eleven, he is bound to improve with further exposure at this level.
United have plenty of options in attacking positions, but they are rather light in midfield, especially now that Michael Carrick is retiring at the end of the season. Scott McTominay has performed admirably when called upon by Mourinho this season, especially considering his lack of experience, however, he appears to be a level below the standard that is required at a club of United’s prestige.
With that being said, Mourinho must seek to replace him this summer with Doucoure – a player who would compliment Nemanja Matic in United’s central-midfield pairing.
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