Man United signing this 21-year-old Benfica powerhouse would go a long way in strengthening Solskjaer’s defensive unit – Opinion

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Man United should invest in Ruben Dias to solve their defensive woes

According to the Sun, Manchester United have lined up Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias as a potential target in a bid to bolster their squad next summer.

The same report claims that the Red Devils are keen on signing a couple of defenders at the end of the season, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aiming a major overhaul of the squad to plan for the long-term.

Despite being only 21, Dias has skippered the Portuguese giants to the top of the table in the domestic league this season. The highly-rated academy talent has made a total of 42 appearances for Benfica this term, establishing himself as one of the key men at the back. Dias earned a total of 69 caps for Portugal at all youth levels and has already made his mark at the senior international level.

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Standing at 6ft.1 inch with a towering frame, Dias is a strong, powerful and technically-gifted centre-back who is noted for his calmness and composure in possession, ball-playing qualities and high levels of concentration, whilst also excelling with his game-reading, physicality and aerial ability. As a matter of fact, Dias averages 58.8 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 85.7 in the Liga NOS this term, including 4.3 successful long passes and 3.4 aerial duels per game.

Dias is not a particularly good tackler but he makes up for it with his astute sense of positioning. He is not the quickest either but he has all the makings of developing into a world-class centre back in the years to come.

To put things into perspective, Man United should make a move for the Portuguese international next summer as a part of their long-term plans. The Red Devils evoked widespread criticism for their lacklustre defensive performances under Jose Mourinho earlier in the season but they have looked much more solid at the back since Solskjaer’s arrival.

Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have all done really well in recent weeks but Eric Bailly has struggled to make his presence felt, with the Ivorian international letting the team down at times with his poor reading of the game. Marcos Rojo is another player who doesn’t seem to have a future at Old Trafford and United should not hesitate to get him off their books to accommodate a promising figure like Ruben Dias.

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Solskjaer has managed to get United back in the race for a top-four finish and it would certainly be a commendable achievement for the Red Devils if they manage to secure the fourth spot in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea. However, the Red Devils need to invest in the summer keeping their long-term goals in mind, which definitely involves challenging for the Premier League and the Champions League.

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United need more young blood in their ranks to freshen up the squad and that said, they should make Ruben Dias their top priority next summer.