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Man United Opinion: Why United should not invest in Toby Alderweireld

According to the Guardian, Man United have been given the green light to sign Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham Hotspur next summer, with the 30-year-old set to be available for a fee of £25 million at the end of the season, owing to a clause in his contract triggered by the Lilywhites back in December.

United’s interest in Alderweireld appeared to have cooled since the departure of Jose Mourinho but the Red Devils are expected to go all out to sign the Belgian in a cut-price deal next summer. (h/t Guardian)

Mourinho’s move to sign the Belgian was vetoed by the United board last summer, with the club hierarchy clearly unwilling to splash too much cash to match Tottenham’s massive valuation of the 30-year-old.

However, Mauricio Pochettino will be absolutely powerless to keep Alderweireld at the club next summer if United manage to stump up the required £25 million to meet his buy-out clause. (h/t Guardian)

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The Red Devils have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround of fortunes under the leadership of their caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In a season that threatened to spell disaster for the club, United have not only managed to make it to the last 8 of the Champions League but have also put themselves right up there in the race to finish in the top-four in the Premier League.

Solskjaer’s attacking and aesthetic brand of football has not only endeared him to the hearts of the fans at Old Trafford but has also worked wonders for the club on the pitch, with players like Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba enjoying a considerable upturn of form since his arrival.

United looked absolutely shambolic at the back under Mourinho earlier in the season but the arrival of Solskjaer has had a positive impact on the struggling defenders as well, with the likes of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling showing more consistency in their performances.

However, Eric Bailly has looked totally out of shape and United might as well look to get the Ivorian off their books in the summer. Marcos Rojo is another player at the back who has struggled for fitness and it should perfectly make sense for United to offload him.

In all honesty, United’s improved displays at the back in the last couple of months have been a result of the team’s overall upturn of form and they can certainly do with some investment to bolster their defensive options in the summer.

Toby Alderweireld has loads of Premier League and Champions League experience under his belt, but the question is- Do United really need to invest in a 30-year-old as a part of Solskjaer’s long-term plans?

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United, under Jose Mourinho, looked to bring in proven players in the transfer market to be successful in their objective, which was to achieve instant success.

However, Solskjaer is someone who lives and breathes the culture at Old Trafford.  He is Man United through and through, having enjoyed a successful spell at the club during his playing days.

In their glorious yesteryears under Sir Alex, United’s policy was to invest in young talents to build a strong platform for continued success season after season and Solskjaer, having himself enjoyed the fruits of United’s policy in his playing days, should probably hold the same opinion.

United definitely need a centre-back and Toby Alderweireld, undoubtedly, would be an upgrade on the likes of Bailly, Smalling and Lindelof. However, as evident from his performances at Spurs, he is not a world-class centre-back like Virgil van Dijk or Raphael Varane for that matter.

His reflexes have slowed down considerably and his struggle against fast and agile opposition has been quite apparent in recent times. Moreover, he is quite error-prone and has a habit of letting the team down with lapses in concentration.

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Suffice to say, investing in a younger centre-back would help United solve their defensive issues for years to come.

It might cost them more but it would be an investment worth it. That said, the Red Devils should not make the mistake of reigniting their interest in the ageing Belgian defensive wall in the summer.

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