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Man United prepare £10m deal to sign 17-year-old Portuguese ace – A good investment for the future?

Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon's reserves (Getty Images)
Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon's reserves (Getty Images)

Why Manchester United signing Nuno Mendes would be a good move for the future

According to a report from the Daily Star, Manchester United are putting together a £10m deal in order to sign teenage left-back Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon after receiving recommendation from former winger Nani.

The 17-year-old Mendes is a product of the Sporting youth academy. The teenage full-back is regarded as one of the most talented prospects currently in Portuguese footballing scenes.

Mendes has risen rapidly through the youth ranks at Sporting and has already become a regular of the club’s U23 team despite being just 17 years old. So far, he has already racked up 17 appearances for the reserve team, scoring a goal and setting up three as well.

Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon's reserves (Getty Images)
Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon’s reserves (Getty Images)

Manchester United, meanwhile, have been on a resurgent run since the turn of the year. The Red Devils were on an 11-game unbeaten run across all competitions when the season got suspended due to coronavirus.

Currently sitting fifth in the league table and still in the running in the FA Cup and Europa League, the 20-time English champions seem to be on the right path under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, there is still a long way for them to catch up to arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City. And for that to happen, investment needs to be made into the squad.

Youth recruitment an important part of Man United

Manchester United should not take their eyes off building towards the future either. The Red Devils are known for pushing youngsters through to the first-team from their academy. Solskjaer has carried on that trend since taking over, handing the likes of Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong ample opportunities in the senior side.

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

For them to stay on that road, adding talented players to the youth ranks is a must. Having said that, signing Nuno Mendes would do just that for Manchester United. At 17, the Portuguese is already competing with players much older than him and has been quite impressive.

Furthermore, he has already broken into the Portuguese U19 national side just a year after making his debut for the U16s. This indicates the kind of potential and talent that the youngster possesses.

Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams are currently Manchester United’s options at left-back, with Marcos Rojo another option. The latter, though, is currently out on loan and doesn’t seem to have a future at the club.

So bringing in a new, young left-back like Mendes, who would be ready for first-team action in the coming years, would be a smart move by the Red Devils.

Nuno Mendes during a training session
Nuno Mendes during a training session

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Verdict

Manchester United are a team with an age-old tradition of pushing youngsters through the ranks. So it only makes sense that they secure a talented youngster such as Nuno Mendes, who has made rapid strides in his youth career at Sporting Lisbon.

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Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana looks agitated. (Getty Images)

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