Manchester United have been pushing to sign a midfielder all summer, focusing on Frenkie de Jong. But this is a risky move, and it’s long past time to look at alternatives.
Fabian Ruiz is one player United should consider, while Ruben Neves lurks as an always ready back-up. Another played the club should consider is Lyon’s Maxence Caqueret.
This time last year we recommended United move for Aurelien Tchouameni. A year later he moved to Real Madrid for approximately £80 million.
Caqueret is another emerging star, who could be an excellent fit for United. Here is a look at three reasons the club should target the French talent…
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Future France international
Caqueret is a defensive midfielder who is expected to soon earn his first France international caps. He has 16 caps at under-21 level and has represented his country at every level from the under-16s upwards, also wearing the captain’s armband.
Now 22, Caqueret is ready to kick on, and after making 32 starts for Lyon last season, he is firmly embedded as one of Ligue 1’s top midfielders.
This summer would be the right time to move for Caqueret, before his profile rises further, and he either becomes too expensive or out of reach. He plays in a position where Manchester United are light on options and would be a savvy investment.
Caqueret is a pressing machine, and would be very well suited for Erik ten Hag’s style of play, a tenacious player who can pass and dribble the ball forward.
FBRef data shows Caquret averages 25 pressures per game, putting him in the top five per cent in Europe, and he is in the top four per cent for tackles won, at 2.37 per game.
He averages 5.3 combined tackles and interceptions per game, and is the type of ball winning player who can help make the players around him even better.
The next Verratti
Caqueret is not just a ‘destroyer’. He ranks in the top 8 per cent of midfielders of dribbles completed per game, with his ability to take the ball upfield a key element to his game.
He is a solid passer, making 5.3 passes per game into the final third, in the top 20 per cent in Europe, and while he lacks the range of passing as a Ruben Neves, the other elements of his game make him a very well rounded player.
Ligue 1’s website compares him in style to PSG star Marco Verratti, noting that his play is ‘reminiscent’ of the Italy international.
The one downside to a possible deal is Lyon just extended his contract in May. They know what they are doing, that they have a rising star on their hands. With a deal now running until 2027,