Manchester United

Losing the race: Man Utd must look elsewhere in pursuit of their next midfield lynchpin

Man Utd have won a lot of transfer races as of late, but it appears as though they may struggle to get their latest target. Indeed, according to the Express, Utd are keen on a move for French youngster Tanguy Ndombele, who has been brilliant in Ligue 1 this season.

A strong central midfielder with bags of energy, defensive nouse and offensive flair, the 22-year-old is emerging as one of the brightest all-round midfield talents in Europe – yet, at present, it’s Man City who are said to be leading the race for his signature. 

That means that, for the first time in recent memory, Man Utd may be about to lose out on a crucial target, and that leaves Ed Woodward with a conundrum. If he’s looking to improve the midfield, and Ndombele isn’t an option – who should he target?

Well, fortunately, Europe is home to some brilliant central midfielders, some of whom could be an excellent alternative.

With that said, here are TWO players that Man Utd should consider if they fail to land Ndombele…

Giovani Lo Celso

Tanguy Ndombele is a young player that is relatively unproven, and so given Man Utd’s interest, maybe that’s what they’re going for. In that case, Giovani Lo Celso could be a fantastic choice.

He’s not as well known across Europe as Ndombele, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less talented. Indeed, to the contrary, statistically, he matches up to or, in some cases, goes beyond his French rival.

He’s amassed 2.3 tackles per 90 minutes (all stats via Who Scored) this season, the same as Ndombele’s 2.3, whilst they’ve also bagged 0.7 interceptions per 90 minutes each.

Offensively, his 4.3 dribbles per game go far beyond the 2.7 that NDombele offers Lyon, whilst they’re also comparable in terms of key passes, with 1.3 for Ndombele in comparison to 1.1 for the Argentinian.

Stats only tell part of a story, of course, but it’s clear that the two players are very similar, and at just 22-years-old, Lo Celso is young enough to improve further.

Adrien Rabiot

If Man Utd want a somewhat more proven option, maybe Adrien Rabiot is their man. Granted, the Frenchman hasn’t played in the Premier League before, but he had been a regular member of the PSG first team prior to his recent contractual issues, whilst he’s also spent time playing in the Champions League.

Few players at 23-years-old can boast 150 league appearances for one of Europe’s best teams, and so Rabiot certainly has the talent.

He’s a fantastic passer of the ball, as highlighted by his 93.1% passing accuracy this season, whilst his frame makes him a decent physical threat, particularly in the air. He’s aggressive and robust, which is important in the Premier League, but he’s got all the technical traits of the modern creative midfielder too.

A risky move, but a potentially shrewd one.

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Losing the race: Man Utd must look elsewhere in pursuit of their next midfield lynchpin
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