The biggest disappointment among all Manchester United’s players this season has been club captain Harry Maguire.
In addition to being prone to mistakes, Maguire has looked too cumbersome and frankly, slow. He is not the ideal partner for World Cup winning centre-back Raphael Varane.
United are said to be exploring options, and one attractive possibility is the potential signing of Antonio Rudiger. The Mirror has reported United are keen to sign the German international, who will become a free agent in the summer.
Premier League’s fastest player
The argument to sign Rudiger is supported by new data released by Opta, labelling the Chelsea centre-back as the Premier League’s fastest player this season.
Rudiger has clocked a top speed of 36.7 km/h, quicker than all of his competitors, with Mohamed Salah closest.
With Harry Maguire struggling for form, along with United’s entire defence, it is crucial that any possible replacement has a different skillset and profile.
Rudiger would be an ideal option due to his pace, making United’s backline more mobile and difficult for strikers to bypass.
The uncertainty at Chelsea can only help United’s cause, with the Blues currently unable to offer him new contract terms.
On a free transfer, Rudiger is a valuable commodity. He is part of a Chelsea defence which has conceded only 19 Premier League goals this season in comparison to United’s 40.
Potential clearout at United
It is uncertain if United could find a buyer for Harry Maguire even if the club wanted to get rid of him. The club would have to take a big hit on the £80 million he was signed for.
There could however be three centre-backs leaving, with Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones all unable to make their way through into Manchester United’s first team.
Getting rid of each of them, no matter what fees they generate, would free up space on United’s wage bill, regardless of what happens with Maguire.