Manchester United have agreed a deal to make their first signing of the January transfer window (as per Metro Citing Sport In Romagna as their source) and it is set to be that of an Italian. Now before all of you get thinking about which Italian it could be, it will be a defender and again before reaching any conclusions, it is going to be a youngster.
16-year-old Luca Ercolani is set to make his move to Old Trafford permanent; the youngster had been training with the youth team of the club for a few months and has impressed scouts enough to give him a deal.
Ercolani is an Italian U16 defender is contracted with a Serie D side Forli but United would have to pay a compensation to sign the highly rated defender due to rules regarding the signing of players under the age of 18.
Manchester United and Louis van Gaal have given a chance to youngsters since the arrival of the Dutch manager, but it could be a bit of time before any of us get to see Ercolani playing in the first team of Manchester.
Italian made, but how good is he?
The youngster certainly has done well to impress the coaching staff at United, he was actually unearthed by the same scout that brought other Italians to the team such as Federico Macheida and Giuseppe Rossi, and it could be another star who could take up the shirt of the Red Devils sometime in the future.
Ercolani is still young and needs to develop before anything concrete can be said about him. This however is a new direction for Manchester United who seem to be signing players from outside England to strengthen their youth academy.
Ercolani would be the second signing from Italy for the Red Devils this season, the first being Matteo Darmian which has been somewhat of a success. Ercolani though has a lot of hard work ahead of him if he is to rise above the competition for places at Manchester United.
The Italian defender does however have one thing going in his favour and that is Louis van Gaal’s persistence on youth players, Borthwick-Jackson being just one example, though it would remain to be seen if Ercolani will still be at the club or even Louis van Gaal would be at the club when the Italian is ready to make it into the first team.
United do have a decent history of churning out great academy products and Luca could well turn out to be one such player, though there is a long way to go before anything of that sort can be thought about now.