Tottenham and Manchester United are interested in Malaga’s young Spanish star Isco, who may become available this summer, as crisis-stricken Malaga look to offload more key players.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed in his first full season in La Liga, in which he scored five times and made five assists. The asking price is said to be around £12 million, as Malaga look to clear some debts whilst they continue to search for a prospective buyer. The money raised from the sale of high profile players Cazorla and Kazan has already been spent on paying player wages and paying off a tax bill, according to The Metro.
The Spanish playmaker has attracted much attention, after his consistent performances helped Malaga to a fourth place finish. Making 1.3 key passes per game and completing 2 dribbles per match, Isco has already shown himself to be one of the most gifted young players in the country. The attention he has attracted in England comes as no real surprise.
Despite having already acquired one attacking midfielder this summer (Sigurdsson), Villas-Boas is reportedly a keen admirer of Isco, and would be willing to match the asking price. Capable of playing centrally behind a main striker or on the wings, Isco is a neat, drifting footballer in the mould of David Silva. With Spurs’ shortcomings on the wings (Aaron Lennon is not the most consistent of players) and with Van der Vaart approaching 30, Isco would be a useful signing for the future.
The youngster has an 86.6% pass completion rate (the highest in the team) and makes a high 45.8 passes per match, exactly the kind of statistics AVB – with his focus on a fluid short-passing system – requires. Money will be available to AVB once the £26 million transfer of Modric to Real Madrid goes through, and the Portuguese manager may feel the opportunity to sign Isco for a cut price is too good to resist.
This seems like a more likely destination in terms of the depth of the current playing squad. Man Utd seriously lack creative intent centrally; the image of Scholes and Giggs moving the ball out wide for the wingers to create was an image seen all too often last season. Their wingers Young, Nani and Valencia made a combined 30 assists, whilst Giggs from a central position made only 8.
Despite accruing 89 points last season, United were too one-dimensional in their approach, and were occasionally caught out. Wigan played a 3-5-2 in their 1-0 win over United at the end of last season, with their clever use of wing-backs stifling United’s wingers. Ferguson’s men were forced to create centrally; Young and Nani were perpetually frustrated, and Man Utd simply could not score.
Ferguson has already addressed this problem with the acquisition of Kagawa, but would leap at the chance to add a young prospect to their ranks. There are currently no young United players that can play in this role, and with dribblers like Nani, passers like Scholes and creators like Giggs in the team, there aren’t many better places for Isco to learn.
Malaga need to sell more players, as crippling debts loom massive over the club. It is a rare opportunity to be offered a talented 20-year-old like Isco for just £12 million. Both of these English clubs, and possibly a few others, would be delighted to take the Spanish youngster to the Premier League.
Alex Keble is the editor of www.thechalkboard.org.uk, a website that gives in-depth tactical analysis of the weekend’s football action, offering match reports with statistics, diagrams, and intellectual insight into the modern game. Follow @ak_chalkboardLike what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!