Manchester United are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Marcos Llorente to their basket of midfield options. The Atletico Madrid midfielder presents an intriguing option and interest is set to intensify as the summer edges closer.
Llorente, 26, has racked up nine goals and eight assists across an impressive La Liga campaign, helping Atleti sit at the top of the table with ten games to go.
Manchester United Interested in Marcos Llorente
Llorente on Red Devils’ Radar
Manchester United has been facing major defensive midfield issues in recent times. The issues attribute to the lack of a defensive midfielder who can provide enough cover for the defence. The void in the midfield has left the club vulnerable and prone to conceding goals. Fred and Scott McTominay offer work-rate but do not possess the necessary attributes to protect the backline.
Numbers Tell The Tale
Neither Fred nor McTominay possesses the required amount of creativity to create chances from deep. Their average expected assists, which is at 1.60 per ninety each provide a testament to the fact. From the comparison standpoint, Llorente’s expected assists stand at a mighty 4.1 assists per ninety for this season. Aside from creativity, the former Real Madrid midfielder is also better defensively and possesses relatively better-tackling numbers and efficiency.
Despite playing in multiple positions including the role of a second striker and an attacking midfielder at Atletico Madrid, Llorente has managed to perform 58 out of 86 attempted tackles successfully this season. Fred and McTominay have performed considerably lesser, with 59 tackles in 105 attempts and 38 tackles in 49 attempts respectively this season. While Llorente has made the same number of fouls as Fred at 1.6 fouls per game, he makes up for it with more tackles and efficiency.
Is Llorente The Man?
The 26-year old Spaniard offers the best of both worlds and could prove to be an upgrade over the current players, but there is a possibility that his unique repertoire may not be sufficient to solve the issues. The 13-time Premier League winners may be on the lookout for a prolific tackler to provide better cover for the defence, but with that said, it won’t be far-fetched to contemplate Llorente joining the club.
If Not Llorente, who?
As an alternative, the Red Devils could look at a wide range of other defensive midfielders with a unique skill set, and the list includes Declan Rice and Wilfred Ndidi. The defensive stalwarts are prolific in tackling, with the latter amassing 61 tackles in 87 attempts while the former has performed 55 tackles in 83 attempts.
The other targets include the Lille midfielder Eduardo Camavinga and Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria. Both can offer better-attacking threat with a more defensive contribution.
With the European Championships happening this summer, transfer lists could change but Marcos Llorente will be pretty high on everybody’s list.
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