Paul Scholes has picked out Wesley Fofana as a potential signing for United.
Speaking to ESPN, Scholes believes the French defender could be the answer to United’s defensive questions.
Scholes voiced concerns about Eric Bailly’s injury record and whether Victor Lindelof is really the answer, and believes an additional player could be needed at the position.
Scholes said: “In the middle, Ole still has to find Harry Maguire’s best partner. Eric Bailly has pace, but he is rash and picks up too many injuries. Victor Lindelof plays the position better and seems to be Ole’s preferred option, but again, he is not totally convincing
“If I was Ole and could sign a defender this month, I’d go for Wesley Fofana at Leicester. He’s only 20, but he has been outstanding and he has the potential to be anything he wants to be. United have done OK at the back this season, but they have been exposed when playing against the big teams, and that’s another problem they need to solve.”
Missed the boat
Scholes is right to ask the questions about United’s defence. These are the same doubts United fans have. Can Eric Bailly really stay fit all season, and next season too?
The Lindelof and Maguire partnership has shown some consistency, while also letting United down when it matters most. So it is right to look at alternatives.
Fofana though will be a very difficult player to sign, perhaps impossible right now. And Scholes, a pundit who has previously told United to sign Harry Kane as if it is as simple as buying an item from a supermarket shelf, forgets the realities and difficulties of the transfer market.
Leicester only just signed Fofana in the summer, and paid £30 million to St Etienne to do so.
This season so far Fofana has been an exceptional performer and has made the money spent look like a smart investment.
Leicester will not be willing to part with Fofana mid-season as Scholes suggests, nor likely in the summer either. He is under contract with the Foxes until 2025.
Considering the extortionate £80 million price Leicester made United pay for Harry Maguire, United would be looking at a minimum of £60 million for Fofana.
And then you begin to question whether such an investment would be wise, whether the 20-year-old could cope with the pressure at United and the fee.
United had a chance to sign Fofana in the summer for £30 million, and chose not to get involved.
This looks like a missed opportunity, and the way to resolve it is not to double down on this mistake by paying double for him (or more) but to look for the next player of his calibre instead.
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