Manchester United’s search for a new centre-back continues with Sven Botman and Pau Torres being the latest names to join the list. Both of them have starred in their respective leagues, but the question about who is better capable of partnering with the Manchester United captain Harry Maguire remains. To answer the question, one would need to dive into their attributes and numbers, on and off the pitch.

Manchester United Continue Search for New Centre-Back

Pau Torres and Sven Botman Join The List

Torres and Botman have helped their teams achieve impressive heights this season, with the former guiding Villarreal to the Europa League final, and the latter has led Lille to the top of the table in the French Ligue 1. Manchester United‘s need for a left-footed player has put them on the priority list for the summer transfer window. 

Attacking Numbers

Both defenders have similar passing accuracy and behaviour in terms of playing their roles. The 21-year old Frenchman has managed 4.66 progressive passes and 0.93 touches inside the penalty box. The numbers marginally edge Pau Torres as he has managed to achieve 3.86 progressive passes and 0.61 touches inside the box per ninety. From a comparison standpoint, Lindelof offers slightly less with 2.83 progressive passes and 0.33 touches per ninety. 

Further, Botman has 3.50 progressive carries but while the numbers are inspiring, they pale in reference to the 24-year old Spaniard’s attacking prowess, who has managed 4.51 progressive passes per ninety minutes.

Despite the intense tug of war between both defenders, they have outshone Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof in most attacking aspects with the Swedish international only managing 3.69 progressive passes per game.

Defensive Numbers

Defensively, the 13-time Premier League has lacked the cutting-edge when required. With 44 goals conceded this season in the Premier League, a rock-solid partner for Harry Maguire might be the final piece in the jigsaw. Defensively, the Lille centre-back tops in most categories with 1.21 tackles, 1.07 interceptions, and 1.39 blocks per ninety. In comparison, Pau Torres has managed to make 0.63 tackles, 0.87 interceptions, and 1.54 blocks per ninety. Under the same category, Lindelof beats Torres with 0.79 tackles, 1.10 interceptions, and 1.54 blocks per ninety. 

Lindelof’s 2.42 aerial duels are only bettered by Botman’s 3.11 aerial duels per ninety, while Torres has a meagre 1.54 per ninety. All of them have averaged over four clearances per game, with the highest being 4.99 by Botman.

One of the most significant attributes every player should possess regardless of their position is their work rate and the ability to press at the right moment. Unsurprisingly, Botman tops the charts once again with 6.56 pressures per ninety, while Lindelof and Torres have managed 6.42 and 5.35 pressures per ninety.

An Upgrade?

The rum​oured centre-backs offer various attributes that are beyond what numbers can indicate. Statistically, Pau Torres and Sven Botman can offer an upgrade over the club’s current options, and the comparison with Lindelof is a testament to that.

While Sven Botman tops most categories, Pau Torres offers other attributes, including passing range, composure, and flair that others might possess in a less than equal proportion. 

Manchester United’s Search To Further Extend? 

The options are not limited for Manchester United’s search for a new centre back continues. Despite their long-standing interest in a left-footed centre-back, they have expressed their admiration for others, including Raphael VaraneJules Kounde, and Kalidou Koulibaly. Although the situation remains unclear, it would not be wrong to think that a centre-back signing is imminent and surely inevitable. 

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