Man United plot move for “quality” gem alongside Amrabat, he’d be perfect for Martinez

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With only a few days remaining in the transfer window, Manchester United appears to be moving on in their search for a new left-back, with Erik ten Hag looking for a much-needed solution amid his current injury issue in that position.

Do Man United plan to add a left-back?
Luke Shaw’s recent extended absence due to injury, the absence of positional opponent Tyrell Malacia, and the potential loan departure of young player Alvaro Fernandez have left the Red Devils in serious need of a new addition on the left side of the defence.

According to Manchester Evening News writer Tyrone Marshall, Lyon’s Nicolas Tagliafico has recently “emerged as an option” for the Old Trafford team, and the organisation is prepared to “consider a loan move” for the 30-year-old Argentine.

Marshall reports that a “short-term deal” is the favoured choice for United in their attempt to bolster what has grown to be a problematic position, despite claims that a permanent switch for the former Ajax player may be in the works with a £5 million cost having been floated recently.

The news comes as David Ornstein of the Athletic reports that the Red Devils are ‘working’ on a deal’ to sign Sofyan Amrabat in the final hours of the transfer window.

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Ten Hag has made signing former teammates a recurring motif of his time in Manchester so far; in the past 12 months, the Dutchman has signed players like Antony, Lisandro Martinez, and Andre Onana.

Although the 53-year-old’s desire to reunite with familiar faces has yielded some noticeable advantages, it remains to be seen whether that manager-led transfer policy is the greatest path to success. Martinez, in particular, has excelled for the team thus far.

Despite initial concerns about the 5’9″ warrior’s height—Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher claimed last year that the player “can’t work” as a center-back in the Premier League—the 25-year-old went on to prove a “absolute monster” in the 2022–23 season. He was arguably one of the club’s “best signings” in “years,” according to club legend Patrice Evra.

The small defender may benefit even more if Tagliafico, an international teammate and former teammate of his at Ajax, joins him on the left side of the defence. The two had previously lined up together while playing for Ten Hag in Amsterdam.

The full-back demonstrated just how effective an attacking outlet he can be from the flanks before departing for France last summer. Shaw, for example, only registered 32 goals and assists in 262 games for the Red Devils while the full-back had 39 goal involvements in 169 games while working with the current United manager for the Eredivisie giants.

Martinez can benefit from the £75k per week star’s defensive prowess because he ranks in the top 14% for tackles made per 90 and the top 6% for interceptions made among his European peers. In addition to being a dynamic option in the final third, the £75k per week gem has also contributed seven goals in 41 games for his current team.

That is really an improvement above Shaw’s record, who only had rankings in the top 27% and bottom 44% for those same two categories. This shows the calibre of player that Ten Hag might be expected to bring to the team.

Tagliafico, who commentator Kevin Campbell called an all-around “quality” presence, would be an interesting proposition to have at left-back alongside Martinez, with the two World Cup-winning compatriots maybe set to shine this season at the Theatre of Dreams if a deal can be reached.

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