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Man Utd want to make “exciting” £60m star their marquee signing, imagine him & Mainoo – opinion

It is the third week following Manchester United’s historic FA Cup final triumph against Manchester City, and the club’s difficult managerial predicament still exists. Even though the Red Devils have won the coveted trophy for the thirteenth time in their history, Erik ten Hag’s future is still uncertain; following a disappointing campaign, he may yet lose his job.

United relied on their FA Cup win because they were unable to qualify for Europe based only on their Premier League result of eighth. Ten Hag’s team qualified for the 2024–25 continental championship because of their victory at Wembley.

One well-known name was eliminated over the weekend, but the hunt for Ten Hag’s possible replacement continues. Reputable reporter Fabrizio Romano reports that Thomas Tuchel will take a long vacation from management rather than taking over at Old Trafford.

Unsurprisingly, United’s summer transfer activity has been sluggish due to the uncertainty surrounding the manager for the upcoming campaign.

They haven’t made a signing yet and appear to be falling short in a few transactions, such as the Crystal Palace signing of Michael Olise. Nonetheless, United might have the advantage if they sign one of Olise’s Eagles teammates.

Man Utd target Premier League midfielder

Eberechi Eze, a midfielder for Palace and an England international, is the player in question here. The former QPR player has had yet another fantastic season; a transfer is possible this summer, and several major teams are thinking about making an offer.

That is, in fact, in line with a report published by Dan King in The Sun. According to the report, sources think the Red Devils intend to sign Eze as a “marquee signing” at Old Trafford this summer, however doing so would require them to let go of players.

This is to make sure they can meet the England international’s £60 million asking price set by the Eagles. Although Palace is reportedly adamant about keeping both Eze and Olise, at least one might leave the team if the £60 million asking price is met.

But during the 2024 summer transfer window, United won’t be the only Premier League team trying to sign the 25-year-old. Spurs, who could win the battle to recruit the midfield player, are reportedly keen in bringing Ange Postecoglou to North London. Having said that, Postecoglou “may be reluctant” to invest so much money on Eze and would rather make other squad improvements first.

Why Eze would be a good signing

Eze was without a doubt one of the Premier League’s most inventive midfielders the previous campaign. In just 27 top-flight games, he notched two assists in the Carabao Cup, and scored 11 goals and registered four assists. Despite playing much fewer games, it was his most productive campaign to date.

Eze’s Premier League career by season
Season Games Goals Assists
2020/21 34 4 6
2021/22 13 1 1
2022/23 38 10 4
2023/24 27 11 4
Stats from Transfermarkt

If Eze joined United over the summer, he could ignite a wonderful partnership with England teammate Kobbie Mainoo. The 19-year-old has become a key player at Old Trafford and is virtually undroppable for the Red Devils now.

If both midfielders play in the middle of the park for United the next season, Mainoo might sit deeper, allowing Eze to attack alongside Bruno Fernandes. Eze is an excellent ball handler who can swerve past opponents with ease.

His Fbref statistics demonstrate this; on average, he takes on 6.13 opponents every ninety minutes and completes 3.02 of them. He is ranked in the top 10% and 9% of attacking midfielders in Europe, respectively, based on these metrics. He will, however, also contribute defensively; with 5.91 ball recoveries per 90, he is in the top 5% of players.

Although Mainoo is a skilled ball-carrier as well, his line-breaking passes could be more effective if he were assigned the duty of sitting deeper. According to Fbref, the teenager is in the top 12% with an average of 0.37 through balls per 90. But he also does sufficiently well enough when he’s not in possession to be able to play deeper. Mainoo averages 4.53 ball recoveries per 90, 3.25 tackles, and 3.25 interceptions per 90.

Eze going forward and trying to help in the last third while Mainoo sits deeper may give United a nice midfield balance. Although it would downplay Mainoo’s undeniable attacking ability, it might also give the Palace sensation the freedom to soar as he concentrates on his amazing line-breaking passes to initiate assaults.

It’s obvious that the 25-year-old is well-liked by the media as well. Eze is “just different,” according to former Palace boss Alan Smith, who also noted that “he’s exciting” when playing at his best. Following England’s 3-0 victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, Smith praised Eze highly and said he carries a “Ian Wright-expectation level” of responsibility.

Should United manage to bring Eze to Old Trafford this summer, it would represent an impressive piece of business to kick-start what has been a slow summer so far. Despite a lack of clarity over Ten Hag’s future, United fans would be delighted to bring a player of Eze’s quality to the club.

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