Man Utd need a new defender, that much is clear, and with less than 2 days to go until the transfer window comes to a close, they are seriously running out of time.
Between the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, there simply isn’t enough quality for Jose Mourinho to produce a sustained title challenge. When you compare the Red Devils’ team to many of their rivals, that becomes painfully clear.
Would Eric Bailly get into Man City or Tottenham’s team? Would Victor Lindelof get into Chelsea or Liverpool’s team? It’s tough to argue that they’d even get close, and that is Man Utd’s problem.
Bringing in a replacement then needs to be a priority before the window slams shut, or Jose Mourinho risks another unsuccessful season. Man Utd are, apparently, working to that end, with the Telegraph reporting interest in Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munch.
Clearly, Boateng is a top player, and there’s certainly a case for him being an incredible signing for the club. Indeed, we made that clear earlier this week by arguing that very case.
However, there is also a flip side to that argument. After all, no signing is risk-free, and in the case of Boateng – there could be far too many risks involved to even attempt a deal.
There are a number of concerning facets to Boateng’s game, but undoubtedly, Man Utd should be most concerned about his injury record. If there’s one area of a team that needs consistency, particularly in terms of the team selection, it’s the defence. You can’t afford to have players that can’t play regularly, and at the highest level in the Premer League, that can often mean 2 or 3 times within a 7 day period. Unfortunately, Boateng has done little to prove that he’s able to do that. After all, he made just 19 league appearances last season, and he was a major doubt for the World Cup. Though, in the end, he was able to make the Germany squad, this should still send warning signs the way of Jose Mourinho.
According to Transfer Markt, he had eight separate absences throughout the 2017/18 season for various reasons, with spells from zero days to a whopping 112 days on the sidelines as a result. Given that he’s 29-years-old, it’s concerning that he’s had so many forced spells on the sidelines – and you’d expect that to only worsen going forward.
Even when he did play last season, though, he didn’t look particularly impressive. He was dribbled past 13 times in just 19 games last term, whilst he also attempted 13 unsuccessful tackles. These aren’t the statistics of a world-class defender, that’s for sure, Undoubtedly, some stats would shine him in a brighter light, but it’s his flaws that should be of particular note to Jose Mourinho.
His age also accounts for far more than just an increased risk of injury, too. He’d demand a sizeable transfer sum, it’s fair to say, and the Red Devils risk him being an acquisition with little sell-on potential. At 29-years-old, he’s only going to fall in transfer value with every passing year, and so there’s no chance of Man Utd viewing him as a quick fix and moving him on for a bigger fee. In that sense, a deal comes with an inherent risk, as there are many ways that Man Utd can lose on this deal. Perhaps that’s why Bayern Munich are reportedly (admittedly, at the arguably inflated fee of £50 million) open to selling the German at all.
The Jerome Boateng of a few years ago would have been a tremendous signing. He was at the top of his game, and he was playing in many of the biggest competitions in world football to a very high level. However, a lot can change in a few years, and Boateng has quickly divulged into a player that is no longer in that world-class bracket. A move could work out, of course it could. Perhaps he could be past the worst of his injury problems, and his playstyle could suit the Premer League. However, for the reasons listed above, that would be a hefty gamble for Man Utd – and one that makes little sense for a Jose Mourinho team that is intent in implementing long-term strategies.
Man Utd fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!