Man Utd’s need for further defensive improvement has been a big talking point amongst fans this season, and with good reason. The Red Devils looked poor at the back last season, and the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones did little to prove to Jose Mourinho that they’re good enough to start regularly.
It came as no real surprise when the major transfer links began to emerge, then, and the latest to appear is a report linking one of Germany’s finest with the club. According to the Telegraph, the Red Devils are keen on German defender Jerome Boateng, who Bayern Munich are apparently open to selling this summer – but only for the right price.
He’s, undoubtedly, been one of Europe’s best in recent years, and he’s offered tremendous defensive quality for Bayern during a hugely successful spell.
A move to Man Utd, then, would be huge for the club – but how exactly would he fit in?
Well, Jose Mourinho has shown a bit of a preference for the 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 style-formation in recent years, and Boateng would be right at home in a five-man defensive unit. But who would be alongside him?
Well, long-term, it’s hard to see past Luke Shaw on the left. The Englishman has really struggled to make an impact under Jose Mourinho, but could this be his year? Well, with Ashley Young in his 30s, it’s clear that Mourinho needs to look pasts him, and Shaw would be a good fit in this formation. He’s an offensive full-back, and his pace and energy could have a real impact.
On the other side, Antonio Valencia is a likely candidate. A former winger, he’d fit into the wing-back role perfectly, and the Man Utd captain will be the leader of this defence as it moves into a new era. Both Valencia and Shaw would be expected to bomb down the wings and wreak havoc.
In central defence, it’s time for Jose Mourinho to give Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly a chance alongside one another. They rarely featured in the same team last season, and it was difficult to see why. The former is coming off the back of a decent World Cup, and whilst Bailly was a bit inconsistent last year, his quality is evident. The pair would have more security in this formation, and so that could make any deficiencies. They’ve got incredible talent, though, there’s no doubt about that.
Jerome Boateng, then, would be the perfect player to sit in the heart of the defence. The German is a fantastic passer of the ball, and so Mourinho could make him the ball-playing defender of this team. Offering fantastic quality on the ball, he’d remain cool, calm and collected despite the intensity of the Premier League, and that should, hopefully, reduce mistakes at Old Trafford. He’d also be a reliable last line of defence for the club.
This is a very solid defence, and if Jose Mourinho is able to secure Boateng, he could have a huge impact. It won’t be easy to land him, though, that’s for sure.
Man Utd fans – thoughts?
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