Manchester United are chasing Real Betis full-back Junior Firpo, according to Spanish outlet Marca.
The £22.5million-rated (per Transfermarkt) 22-year-old is also reportedly drawing interest from some of the top sides in Europe, including Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid, though United should make his signing a priority.
Manchester United are clearly in need of a defensive overhaul. The recently completed season saw them concede 54 goals in 38 Premier League games; the tenth weakest record in the competition, which includes just two home clean sheets.
As it stands, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back line currently consists of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelöf, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian and the recently returned Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe.
It’s a line-up that, with all due respect to the current players, has seen pundits such as Lee Dixon call for reinforcement when talking to Premier League Today via the Daily Star back in March.
At the time of writing, a move for Aaron Wan-Bissaka draws ever closer with the Crystal Palace man pictured in a United shirt as the club aim to strengthen the right-hand side of the defence. And now it seems fans might have something else to look forward to, with Ed Woodward and company keen on the reinforcing the left-hand side of the pitch (if the rumours are true).
Firpo has been likened to full-back legend Roberto Carlos by the good people over at La Liga analysis. Indeed, according to WhoScored, he produced on average 1.6 tackles, 1 interception and 1.4 clearances while current starter Luke Shaw managed 1.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 2.6 clearances, respectively. In attack, the Spanish under-21 international provided three goals and five assists while Shaw returned one goal and five assists.
While not a huge amount of difference based off of those statistics, Firpo does appear to be making a name for himself. Aside from the Marca links, ESPN reported in March that the Spanish U21 ace was on Real Madrid’s radar and the previously mentioned La Liga analysis do report his defensive contributions were higher than that of big names such as Jordi Alba and Marcelo.
United’s current starter, whose only real competition appears to be an ageing Ashley Young, showed that he’s capable of making errors last season; his latest coming against an already-relegated Huddersfield Town, which left sections of the support fuming online, as you can see in this article by the Daily Express.
Firpo, then, could potentially give Solskjaer at least another option on the left-flank if he were to join.
Manchester United fans, would you like to see Firpo challenge Shaw for the starting spot?
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience