Why Florentino Luis could be a good signing for Manchester United
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Manchester United scouts watched Benfica pair Ruben Dias and Florentino Luis last Sunday. Both men played the full 90 minutes of a thumping 4-0 win for Benfica over Braga in the Primeira Liga.
Manchester United were interested in central defender Ruben Dias during the summer transfer window but his sky-high release clause put off Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s club. Instead, they went on to break the world transfer record for a defender by signing Harry Maguire from Leicester City.
Florentino Luis, 20, meanwhile, is a defensive midfielder who joined Benfica in 2010 and made his way through the youth teams before making his debut in February this year.
He has just broken into the Benfica first team as a regular, featuring in the first four games of the 2019-20 campaign after showing glimpses of his talent last season.
Solskjaer brought in three senior players this summer, with Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire arriving at the club.
After an opening weekend thrashing of Chelsea, two draws and a defeat have followed against Wolves, Southampton and Crystal Palace, leaving United seven points off first-placed Liverpool already.
If one watches United’s first four games of the season, it is easy to understand where the problems actually lie for Solskjaer. He is desperately short of midfielders, both defensive and creative.
The Red Devils committed a big mistake by not bringing in replacements for Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in the summer.
With Nemanja Matic yet to start for United this season, Fred still not match fit and Paul Pogba’s future uncertain at Old Trafford, Solskjaer needs to persuade the board to spend heavily in the January transfer window. And a move for Florentino Luis would make complete sense.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Luis excels in breaking up opposition’s play and dictating the tempo of the game from a deeper position. The 20-year-old has a good passing range and energy that helps him cover every blade of the grass.
Despite being so young, he has excellent positional awareness which he uses to read the danger and intercept the ball.
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The Portuguese’s presence would make United’s attackers free from their defensive duties, enabling them to cause serious damage to their opponents. Truly, Luis could be the perfect long-term replacement for Matic.
Benfica will not let Luis leave on the cheap, however, with the Portuguese giants expected to demand top dollar for one their prized assets. So, United will need to be ready to break their bank again to solve one of their biggest problems in the New Year.