Why Dries Mertens would be a smart signing for Manchester United
It is an open secret that Manchester United wanted a couple of signings more over the summer and their failure to restock the squad has had dire consequences.
Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to bring in attacking reinforcements when the winter window opens after a number of injuries to his forward line. Anthony Martial has missed most of the season, while Marcus Rashford has been struggling with form.
Manchester United failed to replace Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku during the summer and they sit just two points above the relegation zone in the Premier League table ahead of a busy winter period.
It is unclear as to who the club will sign in January. To that end, Napoli forward Dries Mertens would be a good fit at Manchester United. The 32-year-old was linked with a summer move to Old Trafford but a deal never happened.
Dries Mertens joined Napoli back in 2013 from PSV Eindhoven and has gone on to score close to 120 goals for the Serie A outfit across all competitions.
The diminutive Belgian scored 16 goals and provided 10 assists in the league last season as the Blues competed with Juventus for the Serie A title. However, the 32-year-old forward’s current deal expires at the end of the season and he hasn’t been offered a new deal by the club.
The Belgium international has been a huge Napoli hit ever since his arrival in 2013 but, after six years in Italy, a move away could beckon in the New Year.
United could do well with Mertens’ services. The player is capable of playing either through the middle or on the wing. He does turn 33 next May, but his past record and volumes of European experience would make him the ideal signing to help boost Solskjaer’s attack for a couple of seasons.
Mertens has really become a prolific goalscorer for Napoli over the last few seasons. He knows where the back of the net is and can lead United’s attack with aplomb.
The 32-year-old’s versatility would also be extremely useful, allowing him to interchange with the other forwards in order to drag the defenders around and create space for others.
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He is a hard man to catch when he is running in full steam in the final third. Mertens also possesses the ability to pick out a killer passer as well as score goals from long range.
His qualities on and off the ball and his unselfish nature in the final third make him a player who could straightaway make an impact at United.
As Mertens could be potentially available on a cut-price deal in January, it would be a risk worth taking for a couple of seasons for Solskjaer’s Red Devils.