One of the names on Manchester United’s list of potential right-back targets is Lyon defender Malo Gusto.

L’Equipe first reported Manchester United’s interest in Gusto back in the summer. Florian Plettenberg reported again this week that the defender remains on the club’s radar.

Plettenberg reports Gusto would cost 40 million Euros (approx £34 million).

Here is a look at what else you need to know about the possible 2023 addition…

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Malo Gusto club record

Gusto, 19, has 14 appearances in Ligue 1 so far this season. He has already racked up 46 club appearances.

His debut came in January 2021 when he was just 17, in a 5-0 win over Saint-Etienne. He has scored one goal for Lyon, which came last season.

Gusto began in youth football as an attacker, then as a defensive midfielder, before converting to full-back. He retains his attacking instincts and desire to get forward.

FBRef report Gusto ranks fifth in Ligue 1 this season for passes into the penalty box, with 28. This is just three fewer than Kylian Mbappe. He ranks first in the league for successful crosses into the penalty area with 23.

He also ranks third in Ligue 1 for overall touches with 1,204, a category led by Marco Verratti.

Malo Gusto international record

Gusto was first called up by France at under-16 level, and he has also represented his country at under-17s, 19s, and now 21s.

He has seven caps at under-21 level and one goal, scored against Armenia earlier this year. A call-up for the senior side is only a matter of time.

He is also eligible to play senior international football for Portugal.

Malo Gusto attacking style of play being balanced by Laurent Blanc

Gusto’s attacking qualities are key to his success, and defensively he is being tutored by new Lyon manager Laurent Blanc, formerly of Manchester United.

The teenager explained how the 1998 World Cup winner is helping him with this side of his game.

Gusto told Lyon’s website last month: “I was asked to work on the defensive side. I know I had to be better on this, I’m working on it and I’m progressing slowly. I think I’ve made progress and need to work on my coordination with the defense.

“Laurent Blanc has given me several instructions, especially some related to his football experience. Above all, he teaches us to be well coordinated and solid.”

Player profile

  • Full name: Malo Gusto
  • Age: 19
  • Height: 1.79m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Nationality: France
  • Date of birth: 19th May 2003
  • Place of birth: Decines-Charpieu, France
  • Position: Right-back
  • Club: Lyon

Malo Gusto contract

Malo Gusto is under contract at Lyon until June 2024. He last renewed his deal in summer 2021.

Verdict

United have a handful of options a right-back as the club look for an alternative and back-up to Diogo Dalot. Gusto is a very intriguing player, a future France international with his whole career ahead of him.

It is unclear if United have the desire to pay anywhere near Lyon’s asking price in January, and the club are more likely to wait until summer, when Gusto will have just one year remaining on his contract.

Gusto is comfortable on the ball and likes to get forward, traits Erik ten Hag likes in his full-backs. His ability to cross the ball well could also be a big asset to United’s attacking play.

His side conceded only two goals in their final three Ligue 1 games before the break, so Blanc’s desired defensive improvements may be having an effect. United will likely continue to monitor his progress in 2023.

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