Why Manchester United must make a move for Alex Grimaldo in January
Manchester United are up and running in the new Premier League season, having thrashed Chelsea at Old Trafford last weekend. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men rode their luck throughout the game but came out with a win and a clean sheet despite Chelsea hitting the woodwork twice.
In fact, Manchester United were lucky not to go to half-time two or more goals behind as Frank Lampard’s men were impressive in the opening 20 minutes of the game. The hosts’ defence, especially the left side, was exposed time and again, while the midfield was non-existent at times.
New signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka performed very well against Chelsea, which will give Solskjaer’s side good confidence, while the form of David De Gea will be encouraging for the Red Devils as well. But one thing Solskjaer definitely needs to do is improve Luke Shaw.
It’s been five years since Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United as a teenager from Southampton. The club had signed the best young performer in the Premier League. However, we are yet to see the best of the left-back. In reality, Shaw’s time at Old Trafford hasn’t been plain sailing.
The 23-year-old was the club’s most consistent performer last season, making 40 appearances in all competitions, and won the ‘Player of the Season’ award as a result.
However, Shaw’s level dipped well below average as United endured a torrid end to the 2018-19 season, with Solskjaer’s side finishing sixth and missing out on Champions League football in the process.
Last weekend, Shaw was arguably the worst player on the pitch, with the England international caught out of position a number of times, which saw Harry Maguire cover for him on the left.
Solskjaer rates the 23-year-old but is currently struggling to get the best out of the defender. So, what should the Norwegian do?
Back in January 2018, Daily Star had claimed that Manchester United were interested in signing Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo. But a move didn’t go through as reports had emerged he had agreed on a move to Napoli.
In reality, however, there was no substance in such reports and the Spanish defender has since stayed at Benfica.
Alex Grimaldo, 25, has been one of the most coveted left-backs in Europe and has achieved a lot of success in a short space of time, winning eight major honours with Benfica.
He is a rampaging left-back, an auxiliary playmaker capable of linking up the play and creating chances for his teammates. The Spaniard is known for his energy, pace and dribbling skills, and he is a player who always looks to make something happen when he gets on the ball.
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Blessed with a sweet left foot, Grimaldo contributes consistently in Benfica’s attacking build-up and can hold his own at the back as well. All in all, he has the right qualities to thrive in Solskjaer’s system at United.
If Solskjaer needs to get the best out of Shaw, he must add competition in that position. That being said, United must reignite their interest in Alex Grimaldo and try to sign him during the January transfer window.