Scout Report – Alex Grimaldo
Manchester United have received a major boost in their quest to sign promising Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo. The Portuguese giants are understood to be open to listening to offers from United. The Red Devils have targeted him for months now. The 22-year-old seems like the ideal long-term solution to address Jose Mourinho’s troubles at the back.
In fact, Mourinho is understood to have sent scouts to monitor him last month. Grimaldo proved to be quite solid in his Champions League games this season, which is believed to have caught the manager’s eye. With Benfica ready to listen to offers, United should utilise this opportunity to seal a move for the defender.
Let’s take a look at Grimaldo’s profile.
Born in 1995 in Valencia, Spain, Grimaldo is a product of Barcelona’s academy. He started his youth career at Valencia but then made the switch to join the Catalan club in 2008, at the age of 13. He made his way through the heavy competition for places and debuted for Barcelona’s B team, which made him the youngest ever player in the Segunda Division.
He joined Benfica only last year but made his debut in February this year. Although he made only one appearance last season, Grimaldo has been a regular for Benfica this time. He also recently scored his first goal for the club in a match against Feirense. As far as his international career goes, Grimaldo has featured at youth levels in Spain and has won two caps so far for the under-21 side.
Strong at tackling and passing, Grimaldo is often compared to Jordi Alba in the sense that he is a typical modern full-back. His main strength lies in his ability to contribute to the attack while also holding the fort at the back. Interestingly, the player did spend some time as a midfielder, making him very comfortable in possession with the gift of making tidy yet accurate passes.
Adept in set-piece situations, Grimaldo also boasts of excellent crossing skills. His focus can often get shaken up but that is something he will improve with time.
Left-back is a position that continues to be a problem area for Manchester United. With Luke Shaw’s future in doubt, Mourinho will need to find a long-term solution for the issue. So far, he has made things work with makeshift left-back Ashley Young and with the likes of Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian. Young may have been impressive but the converted winger is already 32, making it necessary for United to land a successor.
Hence, Grimaldo seems like a good choice. His ability to contribute to the attack is something that will interest Mourinho and the youngster should slot right into United’s current system of play if the move goes through.