Man Utd could sign a Maguire successor in “underrated” £26m titan who’s just like VVD

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After a sluggish start to their hiring spree this summer, when just Andre Onana and Mason Mount joined, Manchester United has been quite active in the transfer market.

Rasmus Hojlund and Sofyan Amrabat transfers are apparently in the works for the Red Devils, with Erik ten Hag anxious to bolster his squad in preparation for their return to Champions League play and their chance to compete for titles again next season.

Old Trafford is in severe need of new players, but there is also a strong desire to get rid of players who aren’t in the coach’s future plans. This summer, many periphery players have been placed up for sale.

One of those players was former club captain and center-back Harry Maguire, who has fallen out of favour since Ten Hag’s arrival last summer. It now appears like he may finally put an end to his dreadful time at Man United.

Will this summer see the sale of Harry Maguire?

According to BBC Sport, Man United turned down West Ham United’s £20 million offer for the England center-back.

Hammers manager David Moyes is ready to sign Maguire this summer and, with over £100 million to spend after Declan Rice left, is obviously anxious to bolster his squad in crucial areas.

The Manchester juggernauts will consider proposals that are in line with their asking price, but only if Maguire is eager to leave the team this summer.

West Ham’s offer came shortly after Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg announced that Benjamin Pavard is a target for Man United:

“Benjamin #Pavard still intends to leave FC Bayern this summer because he won’t be signing a contract extension after 2024, according to him.

At this point, Juventus, Manchester United, and Man City are still in a close competition. The last days have not seen much discussion of the Kyle Walker swap trade. #MCFC”

@SkySportDE: “Bayern bosses are awaiting a firm offer.”

The calibre of Benjamin Pavard?

Although it wouldn’t be necessary, it would be extremely beneficial to add top-notch depth to the Old Trafford defence by replacing Maguire.

The 27-year-old titan, in contrast to Maguire, ranks in the top 10% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for non-penalty goals, shots overall, shot-creating actions, progressive passes, progressive carries, touches, and tackles, indicating that he is an attacking-minded defender who would suit the style of play Ten Hag is keen to promote.

Additionally, Pavard shares many characteristics with Liverpool center-back Virgil van Dijk, a star in English football who has won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Champions League. These traits suggest that Pavard may be equally successful in the top division.

The World Cup winner and the Netherlands captain share similar good skills in possession and overwhelming opponents, according to Opta’s Player Radar, making them two of the most comparable players.

These qualities are demonstrated by the fact that Pavard ranks in the top 2% for touches made among his European counterparts and in the top 26% for possession won, whereas Van Dijk ranks in the top 2% and top 36% in those same two metrics, demonstrating his willingness to get on the ball at every opportunity.

Pavard, who reportedly costs €30 million (£26 million), has earned high accolades for his remarkable career thus far. Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel waxed lyrical about the Frenchman:

He is an underappreciated athlete. He is highly adaptable and tenacious in his defence. He immediately won my confidence and demonstrated to me that I had been right. He is a top team player.

Given that, it would be a no-brainer for Man United to sign Pavard this summer, especially if they can get rid of Maguire in the process. He would not only be a worthy successor but also an immediate enhancement owing to his ability to play effectively in Ten Hag’s system.

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