Jose Mourinho had Anthony Martial to thank as Manchester United beat Everton 2-1 at the weekend.
Paul Pogba handed the Red Devils to lead from the penalty spot (well, kind of) and Martial netted his third goal in three games to double their advantage after the interval. Gylfi Sigurdsson responded with a penalty of his own with just ten minutes remaining, but United held on for all three points. United will be hoping to build on the win with another positive result against high flying Bournemouth next week.
United remain five points behind Arsenal in fourth after an inconsistent start to the campaign. Mourinho was desperate to strengthen his squad in the summer; however, the United board failed to land the targets on his shortlist. Luckily for the former Chelsea boss, reports suggest the Portuguese will be backed significantly in January and a new defender remains top of priority list.
One man he should target is Real Betis defender – Marc Bartra. Valued at £15.75m by Transfermarkt, the former Barcelona man returned to La Liga in January after spending two years with Borussia Dortmund. Despite failing to reach the heights expected of him in Germany, Bartra quickly rediscovered his best form and was named Betis’ Player of the Year following a superb six months with his new side.
The 27-year-old has continued his excellent form into the new season, and United should definitely try to lure him to the Premier League. Mourinho had been vocal about bolstering his defence and Bartra would be a massive upgrade to his current crop. A fantastic passer of the ball, completing 90% of his passes this season, the Spaniard is also a brilliant tackler and reads the game expertly – averaging 2.6 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game in La Liga. The former Spain international also excels in the air, winning 2.4 aerial duels per game on average (WhoScored).
Bartra could be the answer to Mourinho’s problems in January.
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