Why Man United completing a cut-price move for this 400-game veteran could make them rock solid at the back

Man United going for Toby Alderweireld makes perfect sense

According to the Daily Mail, Man United are plotting yet another swoop for Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Alderweireld, with Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskajer ready to go back in the market for the 30-year-old in January. 

Man United spent a combined £130million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire to shore up their backline in the summer window but the Red Devils are apparently keen to add more depth to their options at the back with a move for Alderweireld. 

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The Belgian international was a top target for former United manager Jose Mourinho last summer but a potential move was vetoed by Ed Woodward (h/t Guardian), while the Red Devils also had the chance to trigger a £25million release clause in his contract this summer. (h/t Standard)

However, with the 30-year-old’s contract at Tottenham set to expire next summer at the end of the 2019-20 season, Man United are preparing to pounce on the opportunity to nab him away from their Premier League rivals on a cut-price deal. 

Alderweireld will be free to discuss his future with other clubs when the transfer window reopens in January should he opt to take the route of a pre-contract agreement but United will probably be looking to buy him outright given that they still do not look solid at the back even after forking out millions to strengthen their defence. 

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Indeed, Maguire and Wan-Bissaka have adapted seamlessly at their new club, with the duo producing some impressive performances early in the season despite the team’s lacklustre run of form. 

Axel Tuanzebe has also looked more than capable of challenging for a role in the Premier League but Victor Lindelof, who showed signs of resurgence under Solskjaer in the second half of the previous campaign, has once again threatened to get back to his old ways this term, with the Swedish international often letting the team down with his mediocre reading of the game and lapses of concentration. 

Chris Smalling is currently out on loan at Roma. Eric Bailly has been out with a long-term injury that he suffered in pre-season, and with Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones also failing to convince Solskjaer of their credentials, a move for Toby Alderweireld would certainly make a lot of sense as far as the Red Devils are concerned. 

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A new playmaker and an out-and-out centre-forward should be high on the manager’s wishlist in January but it would be hard to overrule the utility of another defensive recruit, particularly when the player mentioned is Toby Alderweireld, a veteran of over 400 career appearances for clubs like Tottenham, Ajax and Atletico Madrid. 

The Belgian is still going strong at the age of 30 and if his recent performances are anything to go by, the centre-back certainly has a lot to offer at the highest level.

It is a no-brainer that a top-quality and hugely-experienced defender like him would be an instant upgrade on Lindelof, whilst his availability on a cut-price deal means that he age shouldn’t be an issue as far as resale value is concerned. 

A potential pairing of Alderweireld and Maguire at the heart of the defence with Lindelof and Tuanzebe as able back-ups would transform United’s backline into a solid block of iron and an absolute nightmare for even the more feared strike forces in the Premier League. 

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Verdict

With that in mind, Man United should go all out in their pursuit of the Belgian international in January, as it might go a long way towards helping them resurrect their campaign after a poor start.

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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