Why Manchester United should sign Riccardo Calafiori with an eye on the future
According to a report from the Daily Star, Manchester United have joined PSG in the race to sign AS Roma youngster Riccardo Calafiori. The Red Devils have made contact with the 18-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola, over the possibility of a summer transfer.
Calafiori is a product of the AS Roma youth academy. The highly-rated left-back broke into the club’s U17 outfit back in 2017 and went on to make 19 appearances. Last season saw him get bumped up to the Roma Primavera side.
Till date, Calafiori has made 17 appearances for the Primavera side, bagging 5 goals and assisting 2 in the process.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have mounted a strong recovery after a dodgy start to the 2019/20 campaign. The Red Devils are currently 5th in the Premier League standing and are going strong in the Europa League and the FA Cup.
Things are heading in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Prior to the season getting suspended, they were on an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions. There have been a number of young players getting opportunities in the first-team.
The likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have become integral members of the senior team, while Tahith Chong and James Garner are among others to get a taste of first-team football. Given the influx of youngsters from the academy into the senior team under Solskjaer, it would only bode well for Manchester United to further bolster their youth ranks.
Signing Calafiori, to that end, would be a sensible move by the Red Devils. The 18-year-old has displayed a lot of potential in his youth career so far at Roma. In the 2019/20 campaign, he has featured 16 times across all competitions for the Primavera outfit, producing a return of 5 goals and 2 assists. Those are impressive numbers for a left-back.
Manchester United have Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams as their options at left-back. Marcos Rojo, who is out on loan currently, is another option for the position. However, the Argentine doesn’t seem to have a future at the club. So signing a new left-back like Calafiori, who would be ready to make the step up to the first-team in a few years would serve the Red Devils well.
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Given Manchester United’s age-old tradition of bringing through youngsters into the first-team, it would make sense for the club to recruit Calafiori. While he is far from being a finished article, he has demonstrated great promise in his burgeoning career so far. With time, he can grow into a first-team member at Old Trafford.