Why Manchester United should sign Alassane Plea
According to a report from Sky Germany (h/t Metro), Manchester United have opened talks with representatives of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Alassane Plea over the possibility of a summer transfer.
Plea joined the Olympique Lyon youth setup in 2009 and progressed through the ranks but couldn’t establish himself at the first-team level. After a short loan spell at AJ Auxerre, the forward joined OGC Nice permanently in 2014, where he prospered.
In four years at the club, Plea scored 44 goals and assisted 23 in 138 matches, before Borussia Monchengladbach came calling in 2018. Since joining the German outfit, the 27-year-old has become a key player, producing a return of 23 goals and 12 assists in 63 matches so far.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have recovered from a jittery start to the 2019/20 campaign. Prior to the season getting suspended, the Red Devils were on a 11-game unbeaten streak across all competitions.
As a result, they were stationed in 5th place in the Premier League table, while still being in contention for the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. But for the team to challenge arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City next season, a stronger squad is needed.
Do Manchester United need attacking reinforcements?
Manchester United allowed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave in the summer without signing a replacement. This left the Red Devils with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as the only centre-forward options in the squad.
All three have performed ably this term, with Rashford bagging 14 league goals, while Martial has netted 11 times in the English top-flight. Greenwood, on the other hand has 5 league goals in 22 matches. However, the Red Devils suffered when Martial and then Rashford were forced on the sidelines due to injuries.
The latter’s injury in January forced the club to bring Odion Ighalo on loan in the winter transfer window. The Nigerian has made an instant impact at the club, scoring four goals in eight matches in all competitions. However, he is set to be recalled by Shanghai Shenhua, as the Chinese Super League season will be starting soon.
With Rashford looking more lethal this season from the left and Ighalo’s future uncertain, it would make sense for Manchester United to add another experienced centre-forward to the squad to play the role Ighalo has been playing since arriving in January.
To that end, Plea would be a viable option for the club. The 27-year-old has accumulated vast experience, with over 220 career appearances, in which he has netted 71 goals. The French international is Gladbach’s top scorer this season with 8 goals in the Bundesliga, while he has assisted 7 more. This shows his all-round ability.
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Signing him would help Manchester United add an experienced head in a youthful attack. It would also add more depth and quality to their squad.
Marcus Rashford has been more productive playing on the left flank. In addition, Ighalo seems set to return to China when his loan deal expires. Hence, Manchester United should bring in a new striker. And Plea, to that end, would be a good addition if he carries his current form forward. He would add more quality and depth to the attacking department.