Manchester United linked with move for Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia
Manchester United have struggled to provide a consistent outlet from full-back this season, with none of Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka convincing.
It is little surprise to learn new manager Erik ten Hag is plotting to sign a new full-back, even if an attempt to land Noussair Mazraoui could fall flat. Instead, report The Mirror, the manager has his sights set on Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia.
Malacia plays on the left, rather than the right, and would provide competition for whoever of Shaw or Telles is retained next season.
Here is a look at all you need to know about the potential summer transfer target…
1) Malacia, 22, has played 46 times in all competitions for Feyenoord this season, providing five assists and scoring once.
2) He has recently been called up into the Netherlands international squad, earning three caps, including starting in the recent friendly with Germany.
3) Malacia made his first team debut for Feyenoord at just 17, in a Champions League game against Napoli.
4) This season Malacia has won more tackles than any left-back in the Eredivisie, per FBRef, with 53.
5) He has never been on the winning side against Erik ten Hag’s Ajax, losing all five games he has played against them.
6) Malacia has a contract with Feyenoord until 2024, after signing a new deal last year.
What they say…
Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal handed him his international debut and has recently been impressed with his contribution.
He told De Telegraaf after his performance against Germany: “I thought that he was very good in the first half.
“He was one of the few players in the first half who suffered little loss of the ball. And he defended very well.”
Dick Advocaat praised him, via Dutch Soccer Site: “When we lost 1-0 v Ajax last season, Antony was invisible. Tyrell completely neutralised him. When he has the focus, he is one of the best in the country. I can understand Van Gaal’s excitement.
“His strength is that he can defend like a defender and play attack like a midfielder. Feyenoord should be happy with this gem.”
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst said: “Every winger will have a headache the night before playing against Malacia. He is quick, agile and a great work ethic.”
Current Feyenoord manager Arne Slot added: “Tyrell is a fan of Marcelo and Alaba of Real Madrid, backs who can defend and attack. He is and has always been strong as a defender, but now you can see him make progress on the ball as well.”
The Mirror report a fee of just £20 million would tempt Feyenoord into a deal. It could be a very tempting move for United too.
While Ten Hag’s sides have enjoyed success against them, Malacia himself has acquitted himself well in these matches, and at just 22, he would have plenty of room to improve.
United would probably readily cash in on Alex Telles this summer, and Malacia would be a younger, more defensively solid replacement. His price tag could spike after the World Cup, so the summer would be an ideal time to do a deal.
It would be a smart deal to make, and also leave plenty of money leftover available to focus on midfield and attack, areas where United also need to upgrade.