Man United interested in 18-year-old Sporting talent – Could he turn out to be a good investment?

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Why Manchester United should make a move for Nuno Mendes

According to Record (h/t Daily Express), Manchester United are keeping close tabs on Sporting Lisbon youngster Nuno Mendes.

One of Sporting’s most promising youngsters, Mendes made his senior debut earlier this month, coming on as a substitute in his side’s 1-0 home win against FC Paços de Ferreira in the Portuguese top-flight.

Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon's reserves (Getty Images)
Nuno Mendes in action for Sporting Lisbon’s reserves. (Getty Images)

A Sporting academy graduate, 18-year-old Mendes has featured just once for the first-team. The teenage left-back’s quick rise through the ranks saw him being offered a new contract as recently as last week.

United, meanwhile, have a long history of signing talented youngsters from Sporting, who have gone on to become key stars. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Bruno Fernandes in January this year, Sporting youngsters have had a major impact since arriving at Old Trafford.

Mendes an excellent future signing for Manchester United

Moreover, Mendes perfectly suits the kind of hungry and talented youngsters with which manager Ole Gunnar Soskjaer is trying to build a team at Manchester United.

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)

This season has already witnessed Solskjaer handing over first-team duties to teenagers such as Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams after impressing at youth levels.

Both Greenwood and Williams have now established themselves as key players within the senior side, having made 23 and 12 league appearances respectively. United also bought youngsters such as Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka last summer, proving Solskjaer’s intent to build a side filled with upcoming talents.

Though James, Bissaka, Greenwood and Williams have established themselves at Old Trafford, Mendes will find it hard to make a first-team appearance if a move happens.

Young left-back Brandon Williams has had a breakthrough season at Manchester United this season.
Young left-back Brandon Williams has had a breakthrough season at Manchester United this season. (Getty Images)

With Englishman Luke Shaw being Solskjaer’s first-choice man in left-back and Williams waiting in the queue, Mendes’ opportunities would be rare. However, he could be an excellent future signing for them and can provide Williams with some healthy competition, having broken into the first-team set-up at Sporting.

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Verdict

Manchester United have enough power at left-back, with Shaw and Williams sharing the first-team duties as of now. However, Mendes’ arrival will offer Solskjaer with more options next season. Also, he is just 18 and can develop under the Norwegian manager’s guidance. Hence, United should quickly sign him as he could prove to be an excellent future investment.