According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato via Football London, Manchester United are set to be locked in a battle with Chelsea to sign promising young defender Marash Kumbulla from Hellas Verona – a player who makes more tackles in the league on average than both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.
Kumbulla, who has broke into Verona’s first team this campaign, making 12 Serie A starts so far, is being deemed a defensive prospect to watch out for – according to a report from the Evening Standard. The Albanian international reportedly has a ‘towering frame‘ and great composure on the ball, marking himself out as a truly promising teenage centre-half and a potential future alternative option to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current preferred defensive partnership of Lindelof and Maguire.
Kumbulla, according to WhoScored.com, has amassed 1.7 tackles per game compared to the 1.1 and 0.7 ratings held by the United duo. The 19-year-old also holds a similar pass success rate (85.9%) in the league despite seemingly plying his trade for a far less dominant outfit.
While Solskjaer needs back up defensively this season, especially considering the brief scare they had with Maguire’s absence, it isn’t too far fetched to suggest that the Red Devils go all in on bringing this young prospect to Old Trafford.
Kumbulla’s side are currently, on paper, the fifth-best defensive team in Italy right now – with only Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio and Roma conceding less goals than them this season, as per Soccer Souls. Indeed, perhaps his stats could suggest that Kumbulla’s presence may provide that extra edge of solidarity at the back, and with the defender being priced at around less than £20 million (Evening Standard), it could prove to be a bargain acquisition.
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