Manchester United have signed some of Europe’s top young talent down the years.
Most recently, Hannibal Mejbri and Dillon Hoogewerf have arrived at Old Trafford. And now a talented left-back is tipped to join them.
According to the Daily Star, United want Sporting Lisbon’s Nuno Mendes. So much so that they discussed the 17-year-old during negotiations for Bruno Fernandes’s January switch.
While a move for Mendes did not materialise then. It is now reported that United are willing to pay £10million for one of Portugal’s most exciting teenagers.
Mendes is reportedly keen on the move, which is no surprise considering Cristiano Ronaldo’s legacy. The problem is, United already have two of the best young left-backs in the game.
Luke Shaw is still only 24, while Brandon Williams has been brilliant in his debut campaign. So, while Mendes is just 17, one wonders if United have another plan for him if he arrives. After all, the Red Devils’ latest breakout star is only 19 himself.
An attacking threat
The alleged United target is impressive further forward. Prior to lock-down, Mendes had one goal and three assists for Sporting’s under-23s. So good is the teenager that he is already playing, and impressing, against footballers six years his senior.
Shaw and Williams are unlikely to go anywhere, while Diogo Dalot is comfortable covering at left-back when required. United will always be planning for the future but, in the case of Mendes, it would be no surprise if he ultimately shines on the wing.
Solskjaer understands the importance of quality wingers having played with some of United’s best. Gareth Bale is perhaps the most famous case of a full-back-turned-attacker and how the club could have done with him in his prime.
If United do fork out £10million for a left-back they don’t really need, don’t be surprised if he becomes a winger they most certainly do.