Manchester United have been quite busy so far in the summer transfer window. The Red Devils have let go of Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj, while they have signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica and Romelu Lukaku from Everton. One suspects that Jose Mourinho’s side are not done yet, either, as they have been linked with a number of other players.
One of the players that United have been linked with for quite a while now is Eric Dier. Dier is one of the best and most promising young players in England and has established himself as a key figure for Tottenham Hotspur. The 23-year-old can operate as a defender or as a defensive midfielder, and his progress under manager Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane over the past three years has been remarkable.
United are reportedly planning to make a £60 million bid for Dier, who himself is claimed to be willing to make the switch to Old Trafford. Tottenham, though, are unlikely to sell the England international, especially as they recently sold right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £54m. However, are United, who are 10/3 to win the Premier League title next season according to the football betting odds, targeting the wrong Spurs midfielder? Should Jose Mourinho’s side be going for the Dier’s teammate Victor Wanyama instead?
Wanyama is a defensive midfielder, and a very good one at that. The Kenya international breaks up play perfectly, and instead of trying fancy footwork or going on the attack himself, he just passes the ball to a teammate who is better at creating chances. The former Celtic star’s game is very simple, but it is hugely effective – a key reason why Tottenham paid £11 million to Southampton to secure his services in the summer of 2016.
The 26-year-old established himself in the Tottenham first team last season, making as many as 35 starts in the Premier League, five in the Champions League and two in the Europa League. In the Premier League, Wanyama scored four goals, provided one assist, had a pass accuracy of 87.5%, and made 2.5 tackles per game and 1.1 interceptions per match.
United do have enough ball-playing attack-minded midfielders in their current squad. Paul Pogba and Juan Mata are two of the best in that department in Europe, while Ander Herrera is great at making runs from deeper positions in midfield. True, the 27-year-old Spaniard has developed into a superb holding midfielder under Mourinho, but Wanyama is a specialist in that department and would bring more experience and know-how.
Michael Carrick is 35 years of age and remains an important player for United, but the addition of Wanyama to the team is going to enhance the quality in the Red Devils’ defensive midfield. The England international needs to be managed properly, and the Kenyan could be valuable in United’s attempt to win the Premier League as well as the Champions League, and would give Mourinho an extra option in midfield.