Why Nicolo Zaniolo could be a brilliant addition to Manchester United
According to Rome-based newspaper Il Messaggero (h/t the Daily Mail), Manchester United will use talks with AS Roma over Chris Smalling to discuss Nicolo Zaniolo. The Red Devils are even prepared to splash £52m on the youngster, according to Il Messaggero (h/t Sky Sports).
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has impressed on loan at the Serie A side after finding himself surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, and his temporary move could be made permanent in the summer.
And the Red Devils will hope their relationship with Roma can help smoothen the way to bring one of Europe’s most promising attacking talents to the Premier League. (h/t the Daily Mail)
Nicolo Zaniolo, 20, burst onto the scene earlier this year with a brace in Roma’s Champions League victory over FC Porto and impressed with another double in Italy’s 9-1 thrashing of Armenia, becoming Roma’s youngest-ever goalscorer for the national side.
The Italian has scored 5 goals in 16 appearances for the Rome-based outfit so far this season and the midfielder’s rise in stock has been highlighted by his inclusion in the 2019 Golden Boy shortlist.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in dire need of attacking options after scoring just 19 goals in 13 Premier League games this season. The sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan has affected United’s productivity in front of goal, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial yet to score consistently.
Even though Martial’s return from injury has resulted in the Red Devils’ upturn in form, the matter of fact is that Solskjaer lacks a creative player in his squad who can open up stubborn defences.
Juan Mata is a creative player but he isn’t a fit for Solskjaer’s quick, counter-attacking style of football. Paul Pogba thrived in the No.10 role last season when Solskjaer was the interim manager but he has spent the majority of the season on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Thus, the Red Devils could do well by signing a creative player in January and Zaniolo fits the bill perfectly.
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Zaniolo is a technically-gifted and tactically versatile player who can play in midfield, as a No.10 or on the right flank. Even at a tender of 20, he is cool and composed when in possession and the Italian would undoubtedly be a really useful asset for the Red Devils.
A decent passer of the ball (as evident from his 82.8% pass success rate), the Italy international would add some much-needed creativity and guile to United’s play in the final third.
At just 20, the Roma ace will only get better and he possesses the potential to become one of the best midfielders in world football. Hence, Solskjaer should go all out to land Zaniolo in January in a bid to solve United’s creativity problems.
In the video below, once can get a glimpse of Zaniolo’s heavy potential.