Manchester United are being linked with a move for Lens centre-back Facundo Medina.
French newspaper La Voix du Nord claim there is interest from United in the 21-year-old.
So what can we tell you about Medina and is the interest likely to mount to anything more substantial?
1) Medina is a left-footed centre-back. United do not have a player like this in the squad at present, with Marcos Rojo on his way out of the club.
2) Lens signed Medina for a fee rising to just 5 million Euros with bonuses (£4.5m). He is on a four-year deal at the club.
3) Medina has been capped once by Argentina, featuring as a late substitute in a World Cup qualifying in over Bolivia last year. He has also been an unused substitute twice.
4) It was two years ago Medina made his league debut for Talleres in Argentina. He went up against Carlos Tevez’s Boca Juniors, losing 1-0.
5) Medina has scored one goal for Lens so far. It was an impressive overhead kick. You can check it out below…
What they say…
Lens president Arnaud Pouille told the club website after his signing, “We’ve been following him for months and his performance has never disappointed us. We are really satisfied with his signing since he is a player who provides calm and was considered a defensive leader in Argentina.”
Manager Franck Haise added: “His qualities correspond well to the position. He has a real temperament. He has the grinta and has a lot of mischief for a young player. He has experience and a good defensive technique when he is “only” 21 years old. I was also very surprised because, if you don’t know, you can think that he is 4 or 5 years older.”
Speaking in October, Haise told Lensois, speaking after his international call-up: “He is still very mature in his game even if he still has things to erase to be in phase with refereeing. His very enthusiastic temperament must be channeled… He is also able to take the ball out in different ways and under pressure.”
One red flag comes from Haise, who added of Medina this week that he is battling an ongoing injury which has contributed to a recent dip in form and caused him to miss a few games at the end of 2020.
Haise told But Football Club: “He has long been bothered by his knee. The players always need to be at a certain level of intensity, especially Facundo.”
Are United going to move?
The report from La Voix du Nord speculates United could choose to sign Medina and then loan him back until the rest of the season. This might be a sensible decision, to ensure he gets regular playing time between now and May.
At present however, there is nothing to say United are taking the interest forward beyond just scouting the defender. Waiting to see how he recovers from his knee problems might also be sensible.
At the right price, Medina might turn out to be a canny investment. At just 21 he is already an Argentine international, and he would add an alternative style to United’s defensive options as a left-footer.
It would be good to have more defensive depth, with Teden Mengi struggling for the under-23s lately, and Marcos Rojo heading off. In an injury crisis, United’s options would be stretched.
Medina has a bit of learning to do. Five yellow cards in 10 Ligue 1 starts shows he can be impetuous at times, but he also has a lot of potential. It may be better to sign him now, or in the summer, than try in two or three years time.
At the very least, this is one to watch moving forward, possibly in the summer. A move this month would be a surprise.
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