Man Utd signing this €30m-rated Ligue 1 prodigy would be an excellent long-term defensive solution – Agreed?

Manchester United opinion: Why Man Utd should sign William Saliba

According to a report from French publication, Le 10 Sport, Manchester United have expressed their interest to sign Saint Etienne’s highly rated defender William Saliba.

The 18-year old has impressed with his performances in the heart of the defence and Manchester United are said to be keen on the Frenchman.

The report also reveals Saint Etienne’s conditions to sign their defensive prodigy which includes a fee of €30 million and an obligation to allow Saliba to stay at the club for a further year on loan.

Manchester United have struggled defensively since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson almost 6 years ago. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have found a bit of stability at the back since his arrival in December but further reinforcements for the future is an absolute necessity.

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The Red Devils would be making an incredibly smart move if they were to sign Saliba in the summer even if it meant that he stayed out on loan for another year.

Saliba turned 18 earlier this week but despite his young age, he has already featured 10 times for Saint Etienne in the Ligue 1 so far this season. The youngster has played both as a centre-back and also as a right-back and has been hugely impressive so far.

One of the first things you would notice about Saliba is his incredible composure. His ability on the ball is in some ways similar to another French defender – Rafael Varane. The Frenchman is fearless when in possession and isn’t a bit fazed by onrushing attackers even when he is isolated on the ball.

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Saliba is a man mountain standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall and is an absolute menace in the air. The 18-year old, despite his height, is incredibly quick on his feet and has the ability to recover from an unlikely position to help his team defend.

The youngster’s tackling is phenomenal and despite his stature, he gets down and back up after a tackle without wasting too much time. Saliba’s positional awareness for an 18-year old is quite exceptional and under the right management, he has the potential to be one of the best in the world in a few years’ time.

In his 10 games so far this season in the Ligue 1, Saliba has averaged 2.1 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions per game and a brilliant 2.2 clearances per 90 minutes so far this season. The youngster has also averaged a healthy 35 passes a game with an impressive accuracy of almost 85%. (WhoScored)

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Conclusion

Manchester United seem to be on the right track to bring back the glory days to Old Trafford, thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment. It’s high time for the Reds to look at the future and William Saliba fits all the boxes to be a tank in the United backline for a long time if signed.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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