If you are bored of the ongoing transfer links between Manchester United and Jadon Sancho, there is a new name to consider.
The Evening Standard report United are interested in Lille defender Zeki Celik.
Inter Milan, Tottenham, Arsenal and even Norwich who are on the lookout for replacements for Max Aarons if he is sold, are all also credited with interest in Celik.
So why is Celik so in demand and what could he offer Manchester United?
1) Celik is a right-back who plays for Lille, who just won the French title, starting 28 league games along the way.
2) He is a Turkey international who is set to feature at Euro 2020. He has 19 caps and two goals.
3) Celik, 24, has two years left on his current contract at Lille. He joined the club from Istanbulspor in 2018.
4) He scored four goals from right-back this past season including one in the Europa League against Celtic.
5) Celik could be keen to move on, as his salary sees him earn £15,000 a week, a paltry figure compared to other title winning right-backs across Europe’s top five leagues.
How much would he cost?
The Evening Standard report Celik could cost as little as £13 million.
This is due to his contract having two years remaining, and Lille being prepared to cash in on their players, having already sold Boubakary Soumare to Leicester City.
It’s fair to be sceptical whether United are actually keen, or whether the club’s name is simply being thrown in with a host of others. At his price, he is worth running the rule over.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
FBRef‘s scouting report shows Celik is in the top one per cent of full-backs in Europe’s top five leagues for pressuring opponents in the middle third of the pitch. He is in the top three per cent for winning tackles in this zone.
This shows his forward thinking and proactive approach to defending.
He ranks inside the top 14 per cent for passes into the final third. Celik did only contribute two assists this past season, however.
Celik picked up eight bookings and gave away an average of 1.9 fouls per game, the most of any full-back in Ligue 1, WhoScored.com report.
Should United make a move?
At a cost of just £13 million, Celik could be viewed as a low risk gamble worth taking.
However, he may not be a great fit considering United’s current weaknesses.
United are looking for a right-back who is accomplished in attack, not one with fewer assists than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who managed five last season.
Celik’s tendency to give away free-kicks is a recipe for disaster with United’s weaknesses defending set pieces.
This is a move United should pass on, in favour of alternative options. Kieran Trippier is one such player United could target at right-back, with the MEN reporting interest, and he would be a more sensible move due to his experience and attacking strenghts.
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