Manchester United Opinion: Why Kenny Lala will be a good fit for Man United
Manchester United star Antonio Valencia is set to leave Old Trafford in the summer after the club opted not to trigger his one-year contract extension earlier this month.
Valencia’s imminent exit at the end of the season will leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with veteran Ashley Young and 19-year-old summer recruit Diogo Dalot. Ashley Young has played the majority of the season at right-back, with Diogo Dalot being his back-up. But with Young turning 34 in the summer, the Red Devils could be caught short at right-back.
To avoid the potential crisis at right-back, Solskjaer should make a move for Strasbourg ace Kenny Lala this summer.
Kenny Lala, 27, has enjoyed an outstanding season with Strasbourg in the Ligue 1. He has been electric down the right flank this season, managing four goals and eight assists in 25 league games. The Frenchman has bossed the right flank for Strasbourg and has suddenly become one of the hottest properties in Ligue 1.
The 27-year-old is a speedy, powerful, agile and technically-gifted full-back who is comfortable playing on both sides of the defence and in an advanced role on the right flank. Lala loves to make overlapping runs and terrorise defenders with his dribbling skills and movement.
Noted for his calmness and composure in possession, he is an excellent passer of the ball and can initiate attacks from the back. The former Lens man is no slouch when it comes to defending, often using his tackling and interception skills to halt his opponent from advancing.
Furthermore, the Frenchman is a goal-scoring defender which makes him an asset to have in the squad.
Solskjaer has managed to get Manchester United back in the race for a top-four finish and it would certainly be a fantastic achievement for the Red Devils if they manage to secure the fourth spot in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea.
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However, the Reds need to invest heavily in the summer transfer window keeping their long-term goals in mind, and reinforcing the defence has to be Norwegian manager’s priority.
Solskjaer should offload the deadwood at the end of the season and pump in fresh blood to his squad. Given the current scenario at United, adding someone like Lala would definitely be a step in the right direction in strengthening the defensive options.
18 goals, 8 assists – Man United would massively boost their attacking depth by signing this 27-year-old La Liga speedster
Man United Opinion: The Red Devils should move for Antione Griezmann
According to the Daily Mail, Man United are leading the race to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in the summer, with PSG and Bayern Munich also interested in acquiring the services of the World Cup winner.
Griezmann has become frustrated with Atletico’s failure to challenge for silverware and wants to leave the club at the end of the season. The Frenchman was wooed by Barcelona last summer but he turned down a move to the Camp Nou. (h/t Daily Mail)
The 27-year-old has enjoyed another wonderful season at the Wanda Metropolitano, contributing with 18 goals and 8 assists in all competitions but he once again looks set to end the campaign without any major silverware.
The Rojiblancos crashed out of the Champions League against Juventus and they are 10 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga.
Griezmann has been a raging success in the La Liga, rising to prominence with Real Sociedad before establishing himself as one of Europe’s stalwarts at Atletico.
The Frenchman has a jaw-dropping record for his current club, having registered 130 goals and 48 assists from 248 appearances across all competitions.
To put things into perspective, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Man United to go all out in their pursuit of the prolific Frenchman in the summer.
The Red Devils have turned their disappointing start to the Premier League campaign on its head and they have established themselves as realistic top-four contenders under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the arrival of a marquee signing at Old Trafford should help them challenge for the Premier League title next term.
Players like Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial have enjoyed an upturn of form owing to the change in philosophy at Old Trafford upon Solskjaer’s arrival.
The Norwegian has reinstated faith in United’s age-old free-flowing attacking and aesthetic brand of football, whilst also being tactically flexible and switching to a counter-attacking style to deal with stronger oppositions.
Rashford and Lukaku have looked a lot more comfortable in the last couple of months but United need a world-class and versatile centre-forward to relive their glory of the yesteryears. And Antoine Griezmann perfectly fits the bill at Old Trafford.
Regarded as one of the most dynamic and prolific strikers of the decade, Griezmann is a fast, agile, technically-gifted and tactically-versatile attacker who can play up front, on the right and also through the centre as an attacking midfielder.
He is noted for his wonderful technique, creativity, vision, flair and trickery on the ball, subtle offensive movement and clinical finishing, whilst also possessing the awareness and the work-rate to drop deep and link-up with the midfielders to create chances.
Despite his relatively small frame, Griezmann is adept at putting away chances with his head and he has commendable accuracy from direct set-pieces as well, making him one of the most complete forwards in the world.
Undoubtedly, United will look like a more potent attacking force if they manage to unite Griezmann with his international compatriots Pogba and Martial. He is a world-class asset and having him in the team would definitely help the Red Devils stamp their authority over their Premier League rivals.
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The club need to back Solskjaer in the summer transfer window, and it won’t be unfair to say that the arrival of Griezmann in the summer would turn United into realistic title contenders next season. They might have to break the bank to sign him but the investment would definitely be worth it. .
Antonio Valencia would be better off exiting Man United and joining any of these 3 PL clubs instead – Here is why
Premier League Opinion: 3 summer destinations for Antonio Valencia
Manchester United have always paid keen attention to the transfer market and have a fairly dependable record of landing the players that they target. One such success story from the days of Sir Alex Ferguson was former Villarreal man Antonio Valencia.
The Ecuador international was brought in from Wigan as an alternative for the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his switch to Real Madrid in the same window. But considering the heights that Ronaldo reached from there, Valencia replacing him effectively was instantly ruled out.
Now 33, his contributions over the years have been unquestionable and he remains the captain of the club even though his opportunities in the league this season have been few and far between.
With just 5 Premier League games under his belt this season, it would be no surprise to see him look for a move away.
Reports arising from Sky Sports are suggesting that the Ecuadorean full-back is nearing his final months at Manchester United as his agent has confirmed that he will not be staying at the club beyond the end of the season when his current contract expires.
Here are 3 clubs who could benefit from signing the veteran in the upcoming summer window:
The departure of Cedric Soares to Inter Milan earlier this season has hit the Saints team quite hard. Despite young Yan Valery’s resurgence in recent weeks, the addition of an experienced head will only aid Ralph Hasenhuttl’s cause.
Antonio Valencia still has quite a bit to offer in an attacking sense and considering that Valery is still a teenager, bringing the Ecuadorean in could prove to be brilliant as he can compete with the youngster for the starting spot while also mentoring him for the years ahead.
Ryan Fredericks’ Hammers career has been hindered with injuries and while their move for Pablo Zabaleta last season was seen as a blunder, it actually worked charms for them as his experience really showed in their overall play down the right.
With Zabaleta now seemingly running out of steam, Valencia could be a good option to replace the Argentine as the Ecuadorean still has the stamina and physical capabilities to perform at the top level for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Despite the fact that this move is probably a long shot, Arsenal are one of the clubs in the Premier League who desperately need a massive overhaul in defence as individual mistakes and the injury to Hector Bellerin have hit them quite hard this season.
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With the defensively unreliable Stephan Lichsteiner and Carl Jenkinson as the only alternatives, it is essential for Emery to bring in a replacement and a short term solution could be to move for Valencia who, despite his age, is still far superior to the aforementioned alternatives in terms of footballing quality.
Forget Man United: This 23-year-old midfield ace would work wonders by joining any of these 3 PL sides on loan instead
Man United Opinion: 3 loan destinations for Andreas Pereira
United triggered a 12-renewal option in Pereira’s contract, with the 23-year-old midfielder set to be out of contract in the summer, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the Brazilian to put pen to paper on a new four-year deal. (h/t Sun)
The Sun also reports that Pereira is held in very regard by the United hierarchy and they are hopeful that a loan spell in another Premier League club will help him make the grade at Old Trafford.
Pereira has enjoyed more first-team involvement under Solskjaer, with the Brazilian scoring a stunner in United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton and starting in the incredible 3-1 victory over PSG in the Champions League.
A loan move will definitely give him more exposure, and here are 3 possible loan destinations for the creative ace.
1. Leicester City
A loan spell under Brendan Rodgers might help him take his game to the next level. The Foxes have enjoyed a bright start to life under Rodgers but they need to sort out issues relating to lack of creativity in the midfield if they are to challenge for a European spot next season.
Youri Tielemans have certainly added more cutting edge to Leicester’s midfield but the Foxes will need to smash their club-record fee in the summer to acquire the Belgian’s services permanently.
James Maddison has made a massive impact this season while Harvey Barnes has shown signs of promise after returning from his loan spell at West Brom.
With his ability to play anywhere in attacking midfield, Pereira’s presence will certainly be a boost to Rodgers’ team dynamics and squad depth, and the Brazilian is more than capable of competing with likes of Maddison, Barnes, Ghezzal and others for a spot in the team.
Bournemouth have had a season full of promise under Eddie Howe in the Premier League this term and a creative midfielder like Andreas Pereira would be a potentially good signing for the Cherries in the summer, as they look to post a better challenge for a Europa League qualification spot next season.
Youngsters like David Brooks and Nathan Ake have taken their football to a new level at the Vitality Stadium and Pereira has every chance of being the next one to do so.
The Brazilian has the ability to play as an attacking midfielder behind the striker and in a withdrawn central role in the middle, whilst also possessing the versatility to play out wide on the left.
His versatility will give him a good chance of not only proving himself as an upgrade on Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe but will also help him push the likes of Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook for a place in the side.
3. Crystal Palace
Ruben Loftus-Cheek enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Selhurst Park last season and United should be drawn to the idea of allowing Pereira to further his development under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson.
The Eagles have struggled for creativity all season, with summer recruit Max Meyer failing to make much of an impact in his first season. Pereira boasts of good sharpness and flair on the ball and has the ability to move the ball around quickly in the attacking third.
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The Brazilian has a good eye for a pass and his penchant for scoring goals should give him a chance of competing with the likes of Meyer, Jeffrey Schlupp and James MacArthur for a place in the team.
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