Bye bye Valencia: Man United signing this Frenchman with 4 goals and 8 assists would be the step towards future

Manchester United opinion: Should Man Utd sign Kenny Lala?

According to the Guardian, Manchester United have failed to trigger the option to extend Antonio Valencia’s contract on Friday. The Ecuadorian’s 10-year stay at the club is expected to end in the summer with West Ham reportedly interested.

That leaves Ole Gunnar Solksjaer with veteran Ashley Young and 19-year old summer recruit Diogo Dalot. With Young turning 34 in the summer, United should look for a replacement at right-back and Kenny Lala would be a very good option.

After a spell of sporadic appearances with Valenciennes, Lala moved to Ligue 2 side Lens in search of regular game time. The Frenchman featured regularly for the Sang et Or for two seasons before moving to current club Strasbourg.

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In his debut season at the Stade de la Meinau, Lala featured 31 times in the Ligue 1 and impressed with his performances. He scored and assisted a combined 8 goals that campaign and remained a constant threat on the right-hand side.

However, his rise to fame has come since the start of this season. Lala has already bettered his goal contributions of last season, having scored 4 and assisted a brilliant 8 goals in a spectacular campaign so far. With 12 games still to go this season, Lala could comfortably get his assists into double figures.

The 27-year-old possesses electric pace and despite his 5ft 10in frame, he is brilliant in physical duels. Lala uses his body as a human shield between the ball and the opponent as he holds the ball up in an attempt to let his teammates find space for him to pass.

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Lala’s crossing is magnificent and his pace allows him to get into spaces. Lala’s awareness of space makes him incredibly dangerous and his dribbling skills allow him to outfox the opposition defenders before getting into the box.

Lala is an attacking full-back who spends most of his time in the opposition half but his pace allows him to catch the opposition when under attack. The 27-year old combines his pace with willingness to put his body between the ball and the opposition to prevent raids into his box.

Lala averages 2.4 tackles per game and 1.6 clearances per game so far this campaign.

The former Lens man averages 1.7 crosses per game with an outstanding 5.1 long balls per 90 minutes so far this season. Lala, surprisingly, is Strasbourg’s fourth highest goalscorer this campaign.

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Manchester United’s need for a right-back is evident and a move for Kenny Lala makes a lot of sense. The Frenchman, at 27 years of age, is at his prime and would provide incredible competition to Diogo Dalot, making both full-backs better.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

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

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