Deadline day is this week but Manchester United still seem to be in need of a centre back. Today a new name has entered the fold as José Mourinho seems to be interested in Jerome Boateng.
Although he didn’t have the best World Cup, many would consider Boateng to be a solid signing. At 29 years of age he’s become a mainstay in an ever-dominant Bayern Munich side in which he’s won 14 major trophies since his arrival in 2012. It’s also important to remember that he is also a World Cup winner.
But how does the former Manchester City defender fare when looking at Manchester United’s other targets?
Boateng came into last season carrying an injury so missed a fair amount of Bundesliga football. Toby Alderweireld didn’t have the best time with injuries either, so to make this comparison fairer, we’ll look at their stats per 90 minutes.
Following the World Cup, speculation around Alderweireld and Maguire have soared and its easy to see why. However, Boateng has shown that he’s still able to put in a shift for a top club.
Coming out on top in aerial duels won and interceptions shows what type of defending United fans can expect should he come to Old Trafford. He’ll be very pro-active and look at make things happen to regain possession which should sit well with fans.
This pro-active style does, however, leave itself to producing silly fouls which could end up being costly.
Furthermore, playing in the Premier League, the pace of the game will be much quicker so the margin for error will be thinner. Playing this way could see Boateng misread certain situations early in his United career and cause more errors leading to goals as shown above.
This is where Maguire’s style of defence may comfort Manchester United fans a bit more as he comes out on top for tackles and after playing every game of the 2017/18 Premier League, was a massive success at the World Cup.
A big reason for this was the way he played with the ball at his feet.
When we see how each player performed with the ball at their feet, however, Boateng makes a strong case for himself. At Bayern he’s been able to perfect this side of his game with relative ease when you compare the league but that doesn’t change the numbers.
With the ball at his feet, not only is he the most composed out of the three with 87% pass completion, but with the most forward passes, it’d also be fair to assume he takes the most risks.
With urgency being something that Mourinho’s United lack, Boateng’s natural game could make a massive impact at Old Trafford. A player who is pro-active and looks to make things happen himself, if he steers clear of injury, Manchester United fans should welcome him with open arms if he does end up back in Manchester.