Soon after the winter transfer window this year, Mirror Sport covered an exclusive story claiming that Manchester United are determined to sign Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegalese international has been linked with a move away from Napoli this summer and the Red Devils have been in the lime light for quite some time.
Transfer: Man United could offer £54million to sign £290,000 a week star – Report
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has backed Man United to sign the African superstar to strengthen their backline, which he believes is vulnerable.
The former striker stated (via The Star):
“From the defensive point of view, I just feel that they are still very week. We’re hearing that Manchester City might get Koulibaly – United have got to go in there to try and do that deal”
The Senegalese captain, who has been voted as his country’s Player of the Year twice, is one of the best central defenders in the world.
Reports suggest that Manchester City are seriously interested in signing the former Genk man, who is valued at 80 million euros (£73.7million) by the Naples based side (CdS).
At Old Trafford, as compared to the 2018-19 season, we did way better in the last campaign under the captaincy of Maguire, who is the most expensive defender in the world.
However, Wright is not convinced and thinks that the England international is not good enough. He said:
“If you look at them from left-back, yes we know Wan-Bissaka is fantastic right-back and a great defender. But Lindelof and even Harry Maguire – from the left side they’re there for the taking. If you’re gonna go and challenge those teams, that needs to be a lot stronger.”
Unfortunately, Koulibaly spent a considerable amount of time on the treatment table last term, however, it must be remembered that the 29-year-old star made it into the Best XI in four of the last five Serie A campaigns.
In your view, is Maguire a good enough leader at the back or should Solskjaer move in to secure the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly?
Pound for pound and age, Koulibaly is way behind Upamecano, unless United feel Tuanzebe and Mengi (the future) can be as good in 2-3 years – in which case I’d say spend the money on Koulibaly or Romagnoli, so they have quality reference points for their succession.
Otherwise, do the deal now for Upamecano next season and keep Bailly, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Mengi (and even Rojo for one more season) with Maguire for now.
Perhaps this would mean playing with 3 at the back more often, if no pair really stand out, but this could also solve our DM deficiencies if one of the 3 was given a dual role in playing higher up the middle with either Matic (one more year), McTominay or Fred (or even Pogba, if he starts to flourish in a deep-lying quarterback role).
Smalling deserves his move and Calamity Jill Phones needs to be jogged on.
In 2 years time, a back 3 of Mengi, Upamecano and Tuanzebe would make our defence a no-go area for opponents and they could rule Europe for the next decade.
We have many options, which don’t necessitate splashing out on a CB this season.
Focus instead on Sancho and Telles now, Upamecano, Camavinga and Haaland next season, with some offloads, and I believe we’d complete our progressive transition with virtually 2 for every position on the pitch.