Manchester United’s defence has improved lately, with the team managing four clean sheets in a row.

Despite this, the club continue to be linked with new centre-backs. A new name has been added to the list over the weekend, Edmond Tapsoba.

The Express report United have sent scouts to watch Tapsoba in action. So who is the potential summer signing?

1) Tapsoba plays for Bayer Leverkusen after signing for the German club on deadline day in January last year from Vitor Guimares. Leverkusen paid £15.5 million which could rise to £21.5m.

2) The defender was born in Burkina Faso and has represented his country 12 times at international level.

RB Leipzig v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga
(Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

3) Tapsoba has been a regular for Leverkusen this season, starting 20 of 24 Bundesliga games. He has made 52 appearances in total, scoring two goals.

4) Bayer Leverkusen have Tapsoba tied to a long-term contract until 2026. However, The Express report there is a £44 million release clause in his deal.

5) The 22-year-old is very confident in possession. He averages 95 passes per game this season, with a completion rate of 89 per cent.

6) Tapsoba was credited with being the first defender to stop Erling Haaland scoring in a Bundesliga game last year after shutting him out with an effective man-marking performance.

7) Tapsoba is a penalty taker too, netting six goals from the spot for former club Vitoria Guimares.

What they say

The Bundesliga website praising Tapsoba’s attributes, “Incredibly quick – allowing for exceptional recoveries – composed on the ball, ridiculously strong.”

 

Tapsoba adds via The Athletic that he regards John Stones as a player he tries to emulate in terms of style, also praising Virgil van Dijk.

Leverkusen director Rudi Voller said when he was signed: “His really big potential makes Edmond Tapsoba a very interesting proposition as a player. We are happy we’ve been able to complete this transfer.” [via Bundesliga website]

Would he get a work permit?

This would be one of the challenges for United when it comes to signing Tapsoba, especially with Brexit regulations.

Tapsoba told The Athletic that this was a concern for him before his Leverkusen move, with Wolves expressing interest at the time.

He said: “Moving to the Premier League, to a club where I would not necessarily play a lot of games at first, might not be the best idea. There was also an issue securing a work permit. I have time for England at some stage in my career, I hope. But I am in the right place now.”

Burkina Faso are 58th in the FIFA World rankings. It is easier to secure work permits for players from countries in the top 50.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga
(Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Would he be a good signing?

Tapsoba is a very interesting name to monitor heading into the summer. His release clause gives United a very simple decision when it comes to paying up, or not.

Comparatively speaking, Tapsoba is cheaper than Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who could cost around £70 million.

The 22-year-old is a very good prospect who could develop into a top star. This would be United buying him while he is on an upwards curve, similar to the timing of Liverpool’s move for Van Dijk.

Tapsoba has the right attributes for a top central defender and he has a clear injury history, unlike RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate.

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