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Man United interested in signing 16-year-old rising talent – Could this be a good investment?

Lyons French forward Rayan Cherki celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup round of 64 football match between Bourg-en-Bresse (FBBP) and Lyon (OL) on January 4, 2020 at the Stade Marcel-Verchere Stadium in Bourg-en-Bresse. (Getty Images)
Lyons French forward Rayan Cherki celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup round of 64 football match between Bourg-en-Bresse (FBBP) and Lyon (OL) on January 4, 2020 at the Stade Marcel-Verchere Stadium in Bourg-en-Bresse. (Getty Images)

Why Man United should do everything possible to sign Rayan Cherki

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t The Manchester Evening News), Manchester United are interested in signing Lyon starlet Rayan Cherki, but will face competition from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

Rayan Cherki, 16, has repeatedly impressed after being introduced into Lyon’s first team by manager Rudi Garcia earlier this season. The French youth international also netted a superb hat-trick in their 4-3 Coupe de France win over Nantes back in January. He signed his first professional contract with the Ligue 1 club in January that has tied him at the Groupama Stadium until 2022.

Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (L) vies with French forward Rayan Cherki during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lyon (OL) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (L) vies with French forward Rayan Cherki during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lyon (OL) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Getty Images)

Lyon’s latest academy prodigy, Cherki has already made 12 senior appearances for Lyon and been tipped to emulate Kylian Mbappe as the next big thing to come out of Ligue 1. (h/t The Manchester Evening News)

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has started his Manchester United’s squad rebuild by giving a lot of opportunities to youngsters this season. Academy prospects like Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Brandon Williams, Angel Gomes and several others have benefitted hugely from Solskjaer’s philosophy of blooding youngsters in the senior ranks.

In fact, the United board have started investing for the future, backing Solskjaer by signing young talents like Hannibal Mejbri and Noam Emeran. Mejbri and Emeran are among a host of talented starlets in the academy and the Red Devils boss will be hoping that they can be held in the same regard as the likes of Jesse Lingard, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcus Rashford some day.

Mason Greenwood is one of Man United academy stars to break into the senior team under Solskjaer. (Getty Images)
Mason Greenwood is one of Man United academy stars to break into the senior team under Solskjaer. (Getty Images)

To put things into perspective, United’s renewed faith in promoting young talent from their academy ranks has been well-documented under the stewardship of Solskjaer and the acquisitions of Mejbri and Emeran earlier this term came as a piece of welcome news to the club faithful.

That being said, Solskjaer must all also go all out for Rayan Cherki, who would be yet another fantastic addition to the existing pool of up and coming starlets at Old Trafford.

Capable of playing on either flank or through the middle, Cherki is very much a player with the world at his feet. After scoring in the UEFA Youth League at the age of 15, he made his senior team debut for Lyon in a stalemate with Dijon in October, making him the youngest player – at 16 years and 63 days – to appear for the club in Ligue 1 since Willem Geubbels in 2017.

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)

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The teenager has regularly justified the talk of being the next big thing, making 12 appearances for Lyon in all competitions so far – four of those as a starter. He has contributed with 3 goals and 2 assists. What is clear is that Cherki possesses the potential to become a truly brilliant talent.

Verdict

The young Frenchman could prove to be an excellent long-term investment for Solskjaer’s Red army if he gets going. He could get better with time and he certainly has the talent. Truly, this signing has the potential to pay rich dividends in the future for United.

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