Man Utd ready to offer £60m for “box-crashing” McTom upgrade who plays like Bruno – opinion

For Manchester United, the summer of 2024 has started out frustratingly so far. After two weeks of evaluation following the FA Cup final, the Red Devils’ new owners, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, have failed to formally provide any explanation regarding Erik ten Hag’s future as the team’s manager.

The owners are ‘continue to weigh up’ whether or not to stick with the Dutchman, according to a story written yesterday by Tyrone Marshall, a senior football reporter for The Manchester Evening News. Marshall clarified that anybody deciding on his future wish to make sure it is a “thoughtful choice.”

United has already felt some impact from this in the transfer market. They might pass up Michael Olise, who is rumored to be their main target. The Crystal Palace winger may be returning to Chelsea, where he played academy football when he was younger, for an estimated £60 million, according to several sources.

But there are still transactions that United might be ready to complete. Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton appears bound for United, assuming the Toffees do not demand an outrageous fee. Additionally, once the summer transfer window opens, a midfield player who has been highly connected to Old Trafford this week may decide to join the team.

Man Utd target Serie A midfielder

Teun Koopmeiners, an Atalanta midfielder and Netherlands international, is the player in question here. The Dutchman might be making a major move this summer after a stellar season in Bergamo, where his team won the Europa League.

The Red Devils are ‘ready to instantly pay’ to sign Koopmeiners this summer, according to a report from the Italian news source Calciomercato. According to the report, United may have to pay Atalanta €70 million (£60 million) to persuade them to sell their lucky Dutchman this summer, however they are not the only ones who are interested.

Juventus, one of the biggest teams in Italy, is rumored to be interested in the midfield player this summer. The Old Lady may only be able to give up to £34 million, according to the report, but if that isn’t enough to persuade Atalnata to sell, they may also be able to offer a player in exchange for money. That player would be young defender Dean Huijsen.

Liverpool, United’s rival, may also enter the competition for Koopmeiners’ signing. Having managed the fellow Dutchman at AZ Alkmaar, Anfield’s new manager Arne Slot hopes to bring him to the Red side of Merseyside. United might win the race, though, if they pay the needed £60 million first.

Why Koopmeiners would be a good signing

Should United get a deal over the line for Koopmeiners this summer, they would be signing “one of the most intelligent players in Serie A”, according to football analyst Ben Mattinson

In fact, the Dutchman was quite successful this season in Italy’s top division as an offensive midfielder. In 34 appearances, he tallied 12 goals and five assists, adding two more assists during the winning Europa League campaign.

Fbref says that Koopmierners is similar to Bruno Fernandes, the captain and talisman for United. Both of their creative statistics are comparable: the Dutchman averages 2.05 crucial passes every 90 minutes, 4.32 passes into the final third, and 1.54 passes into the penalty area. Fernandes, in contrast, averages just marginally higher, with 3.29 crucial passes per 90 There are 2.57 passes into the penalty area and 5.40 passes into the final third for every 90 passes.

Two players with such inventiveness are crucial for United’s squad’s depth, and Mattinson has made a point of being “well-weighted through balls,” as evidenced by his above-mentioned figures.

Ball carrying is an area where Koopmeiners outperforms United’s captain. In contrast to Fernandes, who averages 2.49 progressive carries per 90 and 1.76 carries into the final third per 90, he averages 2.71 progressive carries per 90 and 1.85 carries into the final third per 90.

Mattinson pointed out that Koopmeiners’ style of play is similar to that of United midfielder Scott McTominay due to his ability to “box crash.” McTominay’s role in 2023–24’mainly focused on him ‘box crashing,’ which is why he has been so ‘prolific’ in front of goal, according to a piece by Breaking The Lines.

Interestingly, Koopmeiners’ 15 goals in all competitions easily trump the ten that McTominay scored, suggesting United could bring in an upgrade in such a role if they look to sign the Dutchman this summer.

Koopmeiners vs. McTominay record all comps 2023/24
Stat Koopmeiners McTominay
Games 51 43
Goals 15 10
Assists 7 3
Stats from Transfermarkt

For £60m, it is an expensive deal, but signing the 26-year-old could help improve United’s creativity in the final third, and add to their goal threat even more. Koopmeiners to United could well happen if Ten Hag stays at the club, given the Dutch connection and his value in such a profile.

 

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