Manchester United’s shallow defence was fully taken advantage of by Arsenal yesterday. By the end of the game, two natural wingers were flailing at full back.
The Red Devils have continued in transfer negotiations beyond the close of the transfer window, to get some players ready for January.
Bruno Martins Indi
One player they’re going for is FC Porto’s Bruno Martins Indi. The defender moved to The Estádio do Dragão at the start of last season, following his great performances in the 2014 World Cup.
The Dutchman, who was born in Portugal, can play either left back or centre back very comfortably. He’s said to be “one of the biggest talents of his generation” according to his current club.
This season, Martins Indi has only made 3 appearances for Porto, 1 in Liga NOS and both Champions League group stage games. He played at left back for Porto’s 2-1 win over Chelsea.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is very familiar with Bruno as he coached the Netherlands 2014 World Cup team, and played the defender in 6/7 games. He was rested for one of the group stage games as progression had been guaranteed.
Following the World Cup, Martins Indi was asked if he would be joining his national coach at Manchester United.
The versatile defender replied:
“I think about him and I think he also thinks about me.”
United are also said to be attempting to sign one of Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s top young first team players, Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
Çalhanoğlu is a very nimble, very versatile midfielder, standing at 5’8’’ and able to play in: attacking midfield, left wing, right wing or, centre forward.
He has played in every single one of Leverkusen’s games this campaign having a record of 13 appearances, 5 goals and 2 assists. One of the assists came against Barcelona in the Champions League.
However, it might take more of Manchester United’s “Special Money” to pry the Turkish forward away from his German club.
In March, this year, Barcelona were heavily tipped to bring in Hakan but his agent informed the press:
“Not to sound arrogant but, for Hakan, interest from Barcelona is not interesting. He has everything he needs at Leverkusen.”
“He’s playing in the Champions League and competing for the DFB-Pokal, plus things are going well for him in the Bundesliga.”
It would take upwards of £20 million for Leverkusen to even consider an offer for their young starlet.
Do Manchester United Need to Sign Them?
Both are quite young players, Indi 23, Çalhanoğlu 21, so would improve over their time at the club, but as a January transfer, Bruno Martins Indi is a must buy.
Not only could the Porto defender provide great cover on the left, in Luke Shaw’s absence and whilst Rojo keeps sustaining injury, but could then move to centre back to partner Chris Smalling next season.
By this point, if they were to sign Indi, Manchester United’s defensive depth chart could look something like this.
Right Back: Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling.
Centre Back Right: Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Bruno Martins Indi, Paddy McNair.
Centre Back Left: Bruno Martins Indi, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Tyler Blackett.
Left Back: Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Tyler Blackett.
Bruno Martins Indi is the exact player that Manchester United need to aid their defensive issues, and strengthen their depth.
Hakan Çalhanoğlu is a fantastic young player, he possesses all of the talent needed to become a top midfielder in any league, but do Manchester United need him?
He most likely wouldn’t make the first eleven, as Memphis, Mata and Rooney would keep him out but, if the side continue to struggle with fatigue issues then he could supply a very key role.
If he was brought in, he would hopefully provide back up to Wayne Rooney. This would not only provide back up to the ageing centre forward but, could also be the trigger needed to push Rooney into top gear again.
As it stands, only Marouane Fellaini is contending for Rooney’s position, and no matter how bad the Englishman plays, he’ll never be that bad.
But, if a flairful, enthusiastic young player were to come in, to try and take his spot, he may be inspired to step up his game.
Bruno Martins Indi is a must buy, in the January transfer window. Hakan Çalhanoğlu would be a great buy but no where near as necessary as a player that’s as versatile and talented as the Dutchman.