Ten Hag could land instant Mount upgrade in Man Utd move for £34m “elite ball carrier”

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Manchester United’s 2023–24 Premier League season has gotten off to a relatively subdued start. They were fortunate to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers last week and come away with three points before losing to Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 the following weekend.

Erik ten Hag wasn’t expecting a three-point start out of six, and he will be even more disturbed by some of the performances, especially from new acquisition Mason Mount.

The summer transfer from Chelsea of £60 million was anticipated to strengthen the United midfield.

But against Spurs, he was virtually nonexistent, managing just 15 accurate passes and as little as 27 touches. Even Andre Onana had more passes and touches, demonstrating how miserably he performed as a dynamic midfielder who drives the offence.

Could this perhaps give the Dutchman the green light to enter the market once more and try to sign another midfielder to Old Trafford?

The club recently travelled to France on a scouting mission.

Will Manchester United continue to add players?

During the last several weeks of the transfer window, United has expressed interest in a few players, most notably defenders.

The Red Devils even sent scouts to observe Frenchman Jean Clair-Todibo’s performance for OGC Nice a couple of weeks ago because he has been connected with a transfer.

However, United was not the only player they were keeping an eye on.

Khephren Thuram, a midfielder for OGC Nice, was reportedly being extensively watched in anticipation of a future transfer to England, according to Get French Football News.

The Ligue 1 team values one of their prized assets at about €40 million (£34 million), so bringing him to Manchester in the near future wouldn’t break the bank either. Could Ten Hag move quickly to do so?

What benefits might Khephren Thuram bring to Manchester United?

Rasmus Hojlund’s injury and Mount’s inability to thus far demonstrate his actual potential may cause Ten Hag’s summer hiring to come under fire, with only Onana having a promising start.

Thuram has had a standout run with Nice since signing in 2019, making 140 appearances. Last season was his most prolific one yet, contributing to 10 goals across 50 games (two goals and eight assists). The fact that he frequently played as a defensive midfielder makes this even better.

In contrast to Casemiro, Mount was used in a deeper role versus Spurs, but it was evidently unsuccessful. Thuram could easily replace the former Chelsea star in this area.

Indeed, the Frenchman contributed to more league goals last season (six vs. five), had a higher pass success rate (85.1% vs. 75.2%), earned more tackles (25 vs. 19), and made more interceptions (38 vs. 8), indicating that he provides more on both the offensive and defensive end of the field.

Thuram even finished in the top 8% for successful take-ons per 90 (1.65) and the top 4% for progressive carries per 90 (3.4) among positional peers.

The disparity between the two players can be seen in Mount’s failure to place in the top 40% for successful take-ons per 90 (0.78) while placing in the top 17% for progressive carries per 90 (2.24).

Zach Lowy, a journalist, even referred to him as a “elite ball carrier” when Liverpool expressed interest in the young player earlier in the summer transfer season.

Ten Hag could purchase a player for just £34 million who would not only be a part of his future plans but also possess the skill to immediately force his way into the starting XI and upgrade Mount.

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