One AZ Alkmaar player United should consider signing - with one red flag

Manchester United travel to the Netherlands to face AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night looking to make it two wins from two in their Europa League group.

It promises to be a tricky trip for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and one of the factors behind the hosts’ strong start to the season has been the form of Calvin Stengs.

He is perhaps the one player in their ranks that United should consider signing and Solskjaer will of course get the chance to check him out at close quarters tomorrow.

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Who is he?

Stengs is a 20-year-old winger capable of playing on either side and has started the season in fine form.

As per Transfermarkt, he has six goals and seven assists from 15 appearances across all competitions this term.

United need more goal threats across the team and the consistent presence of Andreas Pereira on the right of midfield only serves to underline how Solskjaer still needs an upgrade out there.

Daniel James was perhaps brought in to be a goalscoring option from the right but it has quickly become clear he’s more dangerous cutting in from the left.

United accelerated their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003 after a hugely impressive performance up against them in pre-season.

Perhaps a strong display from Stengs in front of United’s manager, players and fans could jolt the club into action.

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One potential red flag?

Transfermarkt also state that Stengs’ agent is none other than Mino Raiola, who looks after Paul Pogba among others.

United have had ups and downs with Raiola down the years, and he essentially is consistently on the lookout for more money for himself and his clients, regardless of the impact on their careers or clubs.

United simply have to move away from dealing with the likes of Raiola, because players in his care are never settled and he is always making noises about their future.

A player’s agent may seem like a minor detail, but in the case of Raiola, it’s a genuine red flag.

If Stengs would switch agents, then he would become a far more appealing option.

A huge performance against United still could perhaps prompt the club to consider making an exception. The defence will have to be at their best to shut the talented young winger down.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.