Scouts from Manchester United are said to have been impressed with Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral after watching him in action during the week.
Turkish media outlet Fotospor reported [via Sport Witness] that scouts from the Old Trafford club liked what they saw of the 21-year-old in Turkey’s 1-1 draw against France in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday night and could follow up with an offer to sign the defender.
According to Fotospor [via Sport Witness], United are looking to purchase a centre-back to partner Harry Maguire, and the report claimed that Demiral, whose childhood idol was ex-Red Devils defender Nemanja Vidic, is waiting for an offer from the club.
Demiral gave an assured defensive display for Turkey at the Stade de France, winning all four of his tackles as well as making nine clearances and three interceptions. [via WhoScored]
However, he has struggled to get much of a look-in at Juventus since joining from Sassuolo (where he was on loan with an obligation to buy) in the summer, with just one appearance so far for the Turin club.
This time last year, he was playing with Alanyaspor in his homeland, having been loaned out by Sporting Lisbon, meaning that he has represented no fewer than four clubs since the beginning of 2018.
Demiral made 14 appearances for Sassuolo last season, in which he posted an average of 5.6 clearances, 3.9 successful aerial duels, 1.7 successful tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game, with an 87% passing success rate, as per WhoScored.
His aerial duels average from 2018/19 is lower than Maguire’s 4.4 per game at United this season, but he surpasses Victor Lindelof (3.1) and Axel Tuanzebe (one) in this regard. His passing success rate has been better than Lindelof’s 85.7% but lower than Maguire’s 88.2% and Tuanzebe’s 88.5%. [via WhoScored]
Demiral has had a considerably higher rate of successful tackles per game than United’s main centre-backs – Lindelof’s average is 1.1 per match, with Tuanzebe averaging 0.7 per game and Maguire just 0.5. [via WhoScored]
Demiral’s statistics mark him out as an accomplished tackler, something that United appear to lack in the centre-back area given the figures posted so far this season, while he could be open to leaving Juventus if he continues to struggle for regular gametime.
The rate at which he moves from club to club may be a red flag for the Old Trafford hierarchy, but he has held down his place in a Turkey side sitting top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group; while he has posted some commendable figures when he has played, so he could well be an option worth pursuing for the Red Devils.
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