According to reports, Manchester United are interested in signing Nottingham Forest teenager Matthew Bondswell and Napoli star Elseid Hysaj in the summer transfer window.
The gulf of class between Manchester United and Manchester City was plain for all to see this season. After seeing City dominate the league this season, United manager Jose Mourinho would be desperate to make a mark next season and if the Portuguese tactician is to challenge for the title next term, he simply has to sign two new full-backs.
Currently Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are Manchester United’s two first-choice full-backs. Both of them are above 30 and while they have been consistent this season, Mourinho knows that Valencia and Young don’t have much to offer in the next few years.
Valencia and Young joined United as wingers. After failing to make a huge impression in their favoured positions, both of them were converted into full-backs. While they have done admirably well given that they are not natural full-backs, it is time for Mourinho to look beyond them if he seriously wants to mount a title challenge next term.
Apart from Valencia and Young, United have the likes of Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian in their ranks. Shaw was been a mixed bag this season, while Blind and Darmian spent most of the time away from the starting XI. This simply suggests that Mourinho must offload the underperforming players and target two new full-backs in the transfer window.
Speaking about Elseid Hysaj, who is reportedly on the radar of United, the right-back has impressed at Napoli. In the last couple of years, the 24-year-old has established himself as one of the best right-backs in Europe.
Matthew Bondswell, on the other hand, is one of the most natural athletes on the books of Nottingham Forest. The highly-rated 16-year-old left-back has been offered a professional contract by Forest but he has failed to agree on terms so far. This has sparked United’s interest in Bondswell, who is an England Under-16 international and a regular in Forest’s Under-18s.
Full-backs are extremely important in terms of a team’s tactical sharpness. Pep Guardiola replaced his two ageing full-backs by signing three new full-backs and everyone knows what the result has been. City dominated the league with the defenders becoming a vital cog of the machine.
It is evident that United need to continue spending to get Mourinho a team worthy of putting up a title challenge. The chequebook needs to come out once more and Mourinho needs to follow his arch nemesis’ example and splash the cash on new full-backs this summer.