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Can The “The Next Vidic” Form A Good Partnership With Smalling At Manchester United?

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Nikola Maksimovic

Manchester United’s defensive fragilities have been exposed like no one else’s in recent times. Their porous defence has led to the team conceding many goals and if not for a certain David De Gea, the situation could have worsened for United which has been seen time and again in matches against Arsenal at Emirates in EPL, or against PSV Eindhoven or Wolfsburg in UEFA Champions League or against Midtjylland in the Europa League. A defence that has seen them exit embarrassingly from a relatively easy group and are staring at another potential Europe exit, following a 0-2 away defeat to Liverpool at first leg of Round of 16 in ongoing Europa League.

Nikola Maksimovic

Last season Manchester United raided Torino for Matteo Darmian and if reports are to be believed they are believed to be eyeing centre-back Nikola Maksimovic. For those who don’t follow Serie A, Maksimovic is a 24 year old central defender from Serbia who was loaned to Torino from Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade. Following his impressive performances in the loan spell they decided to exercise the right to purchase him that keeps him tied to the club till 2020.

Standing at 6ft 4in, he is considerably agile combined with a predisposition in the air and marking opponents. He has grown up as a Central Defender although at times he can play as a Defensive Midfielder as well. He is often compared to another Serbian and United’s talismanic centre-back and club legend Nemanja Vidic, which goes to show the potential the lad has got.

This season he has appeared in 13 matches, in which he has had an average pass accuracy of 84%. He likes to dribble and is not afraid to put in the tackle when a situation demands, thus suiting the characteristics required as a Centre Back in a tournament as fierce and competitive as EPL. That said however he too has his own set of areas where he has to work upon in order to be considered as one of the best in this generation. His ability to win aerial duels has to improve considerably if he wishes to make a mark for himself and win the hearts of United faithful. That said at a price tag of 7 million, he seems like a good deal and the United fans would be hoping they are able to sign him up and most importantly resurrect their falling fortunes.

If one has followed the performances of Darmian closely this season, they can notice that his crossing skills aren’t that great either. However, defensively he is very good. With average crossing skills he still became the player of the month in the very first month of this season’s EPL. Now that’s an achievement. Same may be the case with Makisimovic. He seems to be solid as a rock and marks players well. Smalling being impressively good in most matches this season, maybe him and Makisimovic will become the central defensive pair to look out for in next season. Well it all depends if United does snap him up and if they do then in all worthiness it seems to be a good deal.