Manchester United should go all out to sign Pablo in January
According to the Sun, Bordeaux’s Brazilian centre-back Pablo is the latest defender to be linked with a move to Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho weighs up his options ahead of the winter transfer window to add substance to his leaky backline.
Reports claim that Mourinho has set his sights on the Brazilian and United will have to break the bank to sign him as the 27-year-old is contracted to his current club till the end of 2020-21 season.
A youth graduate of Ceara, Pablo played for Gremio, Avai and Ponte Preta in his earlier days before moving out of his homeland to join Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux in 2015. He struggled for consistency and found it difficult to acclimatise to the style of play prevalent in France in his debut season.
He moved out on loan to Corinthians for the majority of the 2016-17 season and helped the club win the Brazilian Serie A and Campeonato Paulista. Following a successful loan spell, the Brazilian returned to Bordeaux fitter and stronger than before and cemented his place as a first-team regular.
Pablo has hit the ground running this season as well, making 13 appearances in the Ligue 1 and playing every minute of Bordeaux’s campaign in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. The Brazilian has made eyeballs turn with his consistently impressive performances in the French top flight, establishing himself as a rock at the back for his club.
Pablo, who has been capped by Brazil twice this year, has impressive numbers for a centre-back. He is a defender with a sound technique which allows him to run comfortably with the ball at his feet and pass it around to his teammates with ease. He has averaged 39.9 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 85.4, including 4.5 successful long balls per game. As evident from the numbers, Pablo has a good range of passing, both short and long, making him a perfect fit for Jose Mourinho’s style of play which necessitates the defenders to play long balls forward to link-up with the target man up front.
The Brazilian is a decent tackler but it is his superior game reading ability and aerial prowess that makes him the defender that he is. Standing at 6ft. 2 inches, Pablo has just the perfect height for a centre-back and his ability to read the trajectory of the aerial balls to perfection, makes him a genuine asset to the backline.
He has the tendency to move further up the pitch at times to cut the passing lanes, not allowing the opposition to sneak in that penetrating pass behind the backline. In fact, Pablo has averaged 1.1 interceptions, 1.2 tackles, 2.6 aerial duels and 7.5 clearances per game this term in the Ligue 1, figures which speak volumes of his all-around ability as a centre-back.
To put things into perspective, the Brazilian can be a perfect solution to Manchester United’s defensive woes. The Red Devils have shipped as many as 29 goals from 17 games this season, a dismal defensive record given that they had only conceded 28 goals all throughout the season last term.
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Injuries and lack of consistency at the back have been the primary cause of United’s undoing this season and Jose Mourinho needs to find a solution to that if the Red Devils are to challenge for a top-four finish this season.
That said, United should break the bank to sign this twice-capped Brazilian from Bordeaux to stabilise their porous and vulnerable backline.