Why David Carmo would be a good long-term signing for Manchester United

According to ESPN (h/t Metro), Manchester United are keeping close tabs on the progress of highly-rated Braga centre-back David Carmo. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bring in a new central defender in January or next summer and the 21-year-old has been identified as a potential target at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils, though, will face stiff competition from Italian outfits Roma and Fiorentina, as well as plenty of other clubs in Europe, in their pursuit of Carmo. However, United’s chances of signing the Portuguese starlet will hinge heavily on whether they manage to offload at least one of their existing options at the back. (ESPN h/t Metro)

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David Carmo had stints at Beira-Mar, Benfica, Anadia and Sanjoanense before completing his development at Braga. He made his debut for Braga’s reserve side in the second-tier in 2018 and was promoted to the first-team ranks midway through the previous campaign. 

Man Utd eye move for Braga centre-back David Carmo but face competition | Metro News
David Carmo has made 27 appearances for Braga in all competitions (Getty Images)

The centre-back made his first-team bow as a substitute against Porto back in January 2020 and has since established himself as a regular starter for Braga. Carmo has made a total of 27 appearances in all competitions so far, carving out a reputation for himself as one of the hottest rising defensive talents in his homeland. Carmo has represented his Portugal at U-19 and U-20 levels, having won the 2018 European Championship with the former.

United would benefit from Carmo’s potential

United reaped just rewards of their outlay on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bisska last summer. The Red Devils conceded just 36 times en route to their 3rd-place finish in the Premier League last season, which was the third-best defensive record in the entire division after Liverpool and Man City. 

Not only that, but United’s tally of 36 goals conceded represented a significant improvement on their defensive numbers, having shipped 54 goals in 2018-19. However, United have once again struggled for consistency at the back this season, with their numerous defensive collapses somewhat reminiscent of the Jose Mourinho era at Old Trafford.

Manchester United are keen on Portuguese defender David Carmo
Carmo has emerged as a potential target for Man United (Getty Images)

United have already conceded 14 goals in 7 league fixtures so far, with 6 of those coming in the 6-1 hiding at home against Tottenham in October. Their defensive frailties were also exposed in the 2-1 defeat against Istanbul Basaksehir on Matchday 3 of the Champions League.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have both failed to hit the same heights so far this season. Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah haven’t really made a big impression while Eric Bailly remains a liability with his poor track record of injuries. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have already been omitted from the club’s Champions League squad, which clearly shows they are not in the manager’s plans.

To put things into perspective, United need to restructure their backline by moving on some of the underachievers and replacing them with a few quality players with one eye on the future. And the club’s interest in David Carmo certainly strikes the right chords given that the Portuguese youth international has been touted for a bright future in the game.

David Carmo lembra estreia no Dragão: «Fui aquecer e fiquei logo cansado» - Sp. Braga - Jornal Record
Source: Getty Images

The 21-year-old has backed up his impressive displays for Braga in the Primeira Liga with some quality performances in the Europa League. That clearly underlines his potential to thrive against quality opposition at the highest level and while Carmo is hardly the finished article just yet, he’s certainly going to get better with time.

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Verdict

Standing at 6ft 5in with a gigantic frame, Carmo has just the right kind of physicality to evolve into a long-term centre-back partner for Harry Maguire at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and has already started to deliver on his promise in Portugal. 

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