Although Manchester United are third in the League and are on a 11-game unbeaten run, they have been far from perfect. Although they have won games, they have seldom dominated the entire game and have almost always had a problem or two at the back. As good as David De Gea has been this season, one of the reasons why he has been so over-worked is the lack of resistance at the back.
So it is no surprise to see the Red Devils being linked with a center back, who will provide a sense of calm at the back. Over the past few days, Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi has been linked with a move to Old Trafford. The 26-year-old Argentinean center back has been one of the club’s standout performers this season and here are three reasons why the club should make a move for him.
Threat in both boxes
For anyone thinking about why United should go out and sign the 26-year-old Argentine center back, all they have to do is to take a look at his performance against Real Madrid last Sunday. In a performance that perfectly described what he is all about, Otamendi made several crucial tackles, interceptions and headers at the back, including one that prevented a certain goal from Gareth Bale.
And soon after he prevented his side from going a goal down, he went up the other end and scored a goal with a powerful header. If there is one thing that the side has been lacking, since the departure of Nemanja Vidic, it is a centre back, who is a powerful presence in both boxes. A defender, who is not only tough as nails, but who also provides a crumb of comfort for the others thanks to his ability to sniff out danger at the back.
Will be an upgrade on injury-prone center backs
One of the problems that United have had this season has been their inability to keep their defenders fit. Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and even Marcos Rojo have all been injured for quite a while and that has meant that there has been no real consistency in terms of the players at the back.
One of the things that many were worried about when Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left season was whether the side will have enough fit defenders to fill the void. So far at least, the injury-prone nature of the centre backs has made Van Gaal’s so much harder and the arrival of Otamendi will ensure that he has at least one centre back, who not only has the experience and quality, but is also consistent and not as injury-prone as the defenders Van Gaal currently has at his disposal.
He is a leader of the defence
While Evans, Smalling and Jones aren’t necessarily bad defenders, the problem is that they aren’t anywhere near as good playing with each other, as they are, when they play with an experienced defender. For all their faults, they are still good defenders, but what they do lack is the ability to lead the defence, to take control of the situation at the back and command their area. And that is precisely why Otamendi would prove to be such a good signing for the club.
Aside from being an excellent defender, if there is one thing that the Argentine is good at, is taking control of his defence. He is an excellent reader of the game and has time and again shown his leadership prowess on the pitch. With him on the side, the Red Devils will finally have the kind of dominating central defenders they have always had, in the likes of Steve Bruce and Nemanja Vidic.