Declan Rice’s dud of a performance for England against Scotland gave extra reason for Manchester United to look elsewhere in the transfer market this summer.
Rather than spend close to £100 million on the Three Lions ace, United could get far better value elsewhere in the hunt for a new defensive midifelder.
One of these players is emerging Ligue 1 star Aurelien Tchouameni. Here is a look at why the Frenchman is so highly rated and why United should consider a move…
What was his situation heading into the season?
Tchouameni was still settling in at Monaco after signing from Bordeaux in January 2020. The league season being cut short meant he only played three times beforehand.
This made his strong performances in 2020/21 even more impressive. Tchouameni established himself as a regular for Monaco, with 36 league starts.
Tchouameni is still only 21-years-old and has now established himself as one of France’s top prospects.
Where would he fit?
Tchouameni plays as a defensive midfielder for Monaco and he would be a good fit for United, who need an upgrade on an ageing Nemanja Matic.
At Monaco he has played in a variety of systems, lining up in a 3-4-1-2, 4-4-2, and 3-4-3 over the past few weeks of the season.
Monaco teammate Cesc Fabregas wrote on Twitter: “He has the potential to be the complete midfielder. Modern midfield player.”
Tchouameni ranked second in Ligue 1 last season for successful tackles, and ranked fourth for interceptions.
This past season he also contributed two goals and three assists, and is confident on the ball, completing an average 1.2 dribbles per game.
Tchouameni would give United extra mobility and balance in midfield, enabling his more attack minded teammates to kick on.
The biggest positive?
Among the biggest positives for United making this move would be a sign of good transfer strategy, with the club looking outside the box for potential signings.
Tchoumeni is young, gifted, and has the potential to be one of France’s top midfielders over the next decade.
France under-21 boss Sylvain Ripoll spoke highly of him, telling Goal.com: “His tactical understanding is higher than average. He tries to understand the game, and when you combine that with his athleticism and his way of coming out of defence…
“In addition to the athletic work he does, he’s a monster that hurts the opponent and springs forward when required.”
Monaco paid just £15 million for Tchouameni and United could probably land him for under £40 million. This would be a bargain which fixes a key position at Old Trafford while still allowing funds to be spent elsewhere.
The biggest negative?
There is always a risk with buying players who are not used to the Premier League and with Tchouameni just 21, there is higher margin for error.
Chelsea discovered this to their cost when they bought Monaco’s previous rising midfield star Tiemoue Bakayoko in 2017.
Bakayoko struggled after his £40 million move and has spent the last three seasons out on loan with the Blues unable to get him off their books.
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