With all the focus on Manchester United’s midfield this summer, very little attention has been paid to David Moyes’ back-four. But isn’t this area of the pitch equally worthy of assessment as we move into the final days of the transfer window?
Despite riding rough on all the competition last season (and easing their way to the title), the Red Devils’ defense was found lacking on a number of occasions.
Whether it was individual mistakes, a lack of discipline, or complacency, United were often caught out. Whilst it didn’t really affect Sir Alex Ferguson last season, you get the feeling that things are going to be slightly tougher this time round.
Manchester City have made some smart additions to their squad and Jose Mourinho is back. The Chelsea boss is currently crafting a team that’s capable of grinding out results as and when necessary. He’ll have his eyes set on the Premier League title and David Moyes will have to work extremely hard to stop him. Most importantly, he’ll probably have to take to the transfer market to give United the best chance possible.
With Chelsea arguably United’s biggest competition this season, it’s interesting to see both clubs chasing the same defensive talent. The player in question is Porto’s highly-regarded defender, Eliaquim Mangala.
At just 22-years-old, the Frenchman is among the best young defenders in world football. He’s a bright spark, who makes smart decisions, uses his pace and power well and is also strong in the air. Best of all, he’s capable of distributing the ball from the back and should fit in nicely at a Premier League club. But will he end up at United or Chelsea?
The Mirror claim that David Moyes sent scouts to watch Mangala during FC Porto’s 3-0 win over Maritimo last weekend. They also suggest that a £12m bid could be enough to persuade the Primeira Superliga club to sell. That seems like a fair price for a player of his talent.
With Rio Ferdinand getting on in years and Nemanja Vidic constantly injured, David Moyes is right to look at other options. Mangala is affordable, talented and set for a big future. I’d argue that makes him an excellent investment. Let’s hope that Jose Mourinho doesn’t throw another spanner in the works.
What’s your take? Should Manchester United battle it out with Chelsea to sign this talented French defender?
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