Why Man United signing Marash Kumbulla would be a complete waste

According to claims from Italian source L’Arena, as cited by the Manchester Evening News, Man United have credited with an interest in Marash Kumbulla, who currently plies his trade with Hellas Verona in the Italian Serie A.

The 19-year-old centre-back, who is rated at around €15million by his current club, has caught the eye of a United scout who was sent to keep tabs on another player. (L’Arena h/t Manchester Evening News)

The Red Devils, though, are expected to face stiff competition from Italian heavyweights Inter Milan and Juventus in their pursuit of the Albanian prodigy, who is currently enjoying an impressive breakthrough season at his boyhood club. 

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Marash Kumbulla is enjoying an impressive breakthrough season at Hellas Verona in the Serie A (Getty Images)

Born in Italy to parents of Albanian descent, Kumbulla rose through the youth ranks of Hellas Verona before earning his senior professional bow against Catania in the Coppa Italia during the 2018-19 season. 

However, he had to wait until the start of the ongoing campaign to make his Serie A debut and the highly-rated teenager has already started 10 games for Verona so far this term, earning rave reviews for his successful transition from the academy to the senior ranks. 

Having represented Albania at U-17, U-19 and U-21 levels, Kumbulla’s successful breakthrough in the Serie A has also seen him make his senior international debut for his nation which came in a 4-0 win against Moldova in a Euro 2020 qualifier back in October. 

As per whoscored, Kumbulla boasts of a pass success rate of 85.9, including 1.7 aerial duels, 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.8 clearances and 2 long balls per game in the Serie this term, figures which lie testament to his qualities as a modern-day ball-playing centre-back in the making.

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Kumbulla has already caught the eye of Juventus, Inter Milan and Man United (Getty Images)

That he is already rubbing shoulders with the senior pros on a regular basis and in one of the top-five leagues in Europe is clearly indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years, and Kumbulla has already been tipped for a big future in the game.

To put things into perspective, Marash Kumbulla looks like a fine young defender with loads of potential but it is hard to see why Man United would possibly want to add another centre-back to their ranks in January. 

The Red Devils spent a large chunk of their summer budget to bring in the likes of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Leicester City and Crystal Palace respectively and a reshuffling of the backline has paid off nicely for Ole Gunnar Solskajer. 

United have shipped 22 goals in 18 games so far in the Premier League, numbers which represent a significant improvement on their defensive record from the previous campaign. On the contrary, a tally of 26 goals scored suggests that the team can certainly do with some fresh additions further up the pitch. 

Despite the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James all chipping in with valuable goal contributions, United have often struggled for creativity in the final third and bringing in an upgrade on the underwhelming creative duo of Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira could possibly take Solskjaer’s project to the next level. 

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Kumbulla has a contract at Hellas Verona until 2022 (Getty Images)

To that end, United completing a move for Marash Kumbulla wouldn’t make a lot of sense, given that they are already more than well-stocked in the centre-back department and there are plenty of gaping holes to be filled further up the pitch where lack of creativity continues to be major stumbling block for the Red Devils. 

Verdict

With Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof establishing themselves as regular fixtures under Solskajer, the likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe have only played a bit-part role so far. Chris Smalling has already been deemed surplus to requirements while Eric Bailly, who is out of contract in 2020, hasn’t kicked a ball this season due to his struggles with injuries.

Hence, it is clear that United need to make a decision on the futures of a number of players at the back, meaning that they would need to sell some of the existing central defenders on their books to make room for new arrivals. 

Moreover, with academy graduate Tuanzebe very much a part of Solskjaer’s plans moving forward, splashing the cash on another up and coming centre-back like Kumbulla would only lead to unnecessary overloading of options at the back and some unwanted selection dilemma from which neither player would benefit.

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Suffice to say, Man United moving for Marash Kumbulla in January would simply be a waste of resources and they should be wise enough to spend their money elsewhere.

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