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83% Pass Success Rate – Can This Serie A Youngster Be The Next Carrick For Manchester United?

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Kessie has been one of the standout players in Serie A this season

It is natural for a player to be linked with clubs during the transfer window. But for young Franck Kessie, this transfer window will have come as a huge surprise. The 20-year midfielder is enjoying a stellar season for Atalanta in the Serie A and that has seen him linked to the best of the clubs across Europe, with Juventus, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, all credited with an interest. And it appears that English giants Manchester United have also joined the ever-growing list of potential suitors for Kessie and are reportedly in negotiations to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford this January.

Kessie, who joined Atalanta in 2015, had spent the last term on loan with Serie B side Cesena, but has become a first-team regular this term for the Italians. A midfielder by trade, the Ivory Coast international has appeared 16 times for his team in the Serie A and has scored an amazing 6 goals already this term and also has one assist to his name.

Having sold Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton earlier this month, Manchester United seem to be short on numbers in the middle of the park. Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick are the first-choice midfielders with Marouane Fellaini and the sparingly-used Bastian Schweinsteiger the only options available for manager Jose Mourinho from the bench.

So, given the dearth of options at his disposal and with question mark over Carrick’s future at Old Trafford, given his contract is set to expire in the summer and negotiations for a new deal having not yet begun, it isn’t least bit surprising that the Portuguese has decided to delve into the market for Kessie.

He has scored seven times in all competitions this season

Kessie, while not exactly a like-to-like replacement for Carrick, could prove to be an excellent addition in the midfield for United. Best used as a box-to-box midfielder, the midfield powerhouse can have a great effect on either side of the pitch.

Kessie has an excellent 83% pass success rate in Serie A this term, while he also has had success in a 27 out of 37 take-ons he has attempted and has created 13 chances for his team, indicating his attacking flair. At the same time, the 20-year old has made 18 interceptions and 12 clearances along with 16 successful tackles, showing he can contribute equally in the defensive half of the pitch. Kessie also has won 55% of his attempted aerial duels so far.

His physical presence combined with excellent reading and awareness makes him solid in defence. While with his amazing passing abilities along with the skills with the ball at his feet and an eye for a goal, it does not come as a surprise that he has been dubbed as the new ‘Yaya Toure’.

At 20-years of age, the only way from here for Kessie is upwards. While he may not be cut from the same cloth as Carrick, Kessie will offer much more going forward and can also be relied to cover his backline as and when needed. He has the range of passing and the composure to control the games from deep, while he can easily surge forward to help out in attack. The fact that such big clubs are lining up for his signature speaks plenty about his quality and United could be greatly benefitted if they convince Kessie to move to the Old Trafford.