Ratcliffe eyeing Man United swoop for ”impressive” Mainoo partner, he’d be a bargain – opinion

This season, Erik ten Hag has faced many challenges at Manchester United, including player underperformance and injury.

But one problem for which the Dutch manager hasn’t been able to find a remedy so far is his underperforming midfield.

While it’s evident that Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes will start for the Red Devils, Scott McTominay, Casemiro, and Sofyan Amrabat haven’t been able to secure a spot next to the 18-year-old.

It is therefore not surprise that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is eager to bolster the midfield this summer, since one player in particular may be Mainoo’s ideal partner.

Man Utd’s search for a midfielder continues 

CalcioMercato reports that Man United is monitoring Adrien Rabiot’s current circumstances.

The French midfielder is now at Juventus in Italy, but Ratcliffe is considering making a move for him after a roadblock occurred during a contract renewal.

Rabiot may be able to depart the Serie A team on a free transfer because his current contract with them ends in the summer.

The midfielder is reportedly eager to play in the Premier League, which may work to United’s advantage. However, Newcastle United and other teams will compete for his services, as both have investigated signing the France international.

Adrien Rabiot could prove to be a bargain 

Rabiot has been a mainstay in the starting lineup ever since joining Juventus in 2019, and this season has seen no changes to that status.

This season, the 29-year-old has appeared in 25 Serie A games, starting 24, where he has been used as a box-to-box player in a midfield three.

As evidenced by his seven goal contributions, Massimiliano Allegri has given the former Paris Saint-Germain star the freedom to attack when the chance arises. However, he has also been instrumental in helping Juventus maintain 14 clean sheets.

Rabiot would be the perfect partner for Mainoo, who is now trying to do an impossible assignment in the midfield, because of his boundless energy and excellent engine, which enable him to execute this duty with ease.

Rabiot’s 23/24 Serie A Stats
Stats (per game) Rabiot
Pass accuracy 84%
Passes completed 30.6
Tackles 1.8
Balls recovered 4.9
Dribbled past 0.4
Duels won 5.6
Via Sofascore

Rabiot is a somewhat well-rounded player who feels at ease performing both in-possession and out-of-possession duties, as the table above shows.

The number 25’s technical ability is somewhat limited because Juventus has had less possession than their opponents on average this season, which explains why his pass accuracy and completion aren’t very high. However, he would definitely be able to showcase that more alongside Mainoo, who is renowned for being a technical master.

But according to FBref, Rabiot excels at carrying the ball, averaging 2.2 progressive carries per game. This demonstrates his ability to cover ground with easily, which is something United has severely needed.

Additionally, the “impressive” left-footed ace, as dubbed by journalist Julien Laurens, often impacts the game defensively due to his athleticism, which will inevitably make Mainoo’s job much easier, as the number 37 is having to cover huge spaces due to Casemiro’s lack of mobility.

Overall, it’s not guaranteed that Rabiot would walk into the starting lineup even if he were to join, but to sign someone of his quality on a free transfer could prove to be a brilliant deal, based on the aforementioned relationship he could have on the pitch with Mainoo whilst being signed on a free transfer.

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