Why Kalidou Koulibaly would be a brilliant addition to Man United
According to a report from the Metro, Manchester United have made Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as one of their priority signings next summer.
Even with question marks over the long-term future of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United are seemingly making plans for the January window in a bid to salvage what is quickly becoming a nightmare campaign. Solskjaer is under severe pressure following the Red Devils’ worst start for 30 years and the club sat 12th in the Premier League after eight matches.
Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle was the lowest point of Solskjaer’s short reign so far with United managing just three shots on target against the Magpies. A heavy defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford after the international break will give the board no option but to sack him.
The Red Devils paid a record fee for a defender to sign centre-back Harry Maguire from Leicester City for £80m in the summer; nevertheless, the club is already building plans for the 2020/21 campaign and want Kalidou Koulibaly at Old Trafford.
Koulibaly, 28, is rated as one of the best defenders in Europe and will easily stroll into United’s starting XI without breaking a sweat. He has long been linked with a switch to the Premier League giants but has stayed loyal to Napoli.
Truth to be told, United’s problems lie at the other end of the pitch, i.e. scoring goals. The additions of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have tightened the backline that leaked over 50 goals last season.
Despite spending big on the English duo, United want depth in that position after a faltering start and the common consensus is that another world-class defender would make their defence potentially resilient.
Maguire has made a telling impact with his presence and leadership skills, on and off the pitch. But Victor Lindelof has struggled this season and Axel Tuanzebe is in the formative years of his career.
Chris Smalling has joined AS Roma on a season-long loan, Eric Bailly is out with a long-term injury, Marcos Rojo has been in and out of the team and Phil Jones is out of favour under Solskjaer.
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Standing at 6ft 5in, Koulibaly is a powerful, domineering figure who could make an immediate impact at United. He is incredibly strong in the air, tenacious in the tackle, and is also very quick along the ground.
The Senegalese is undoubtedly one of the world’s best central defenders, and the thought of him pairing up with Maguire at the heart of United’s defence will surely get United fans drooling.
Manchester United will have to break the world record transfer for a defender for the second year in a row with Napoli valuing Koulibaly over £90million. And making Koulibaly the costliest defender would represent a massive statement of intent from the Red Devils next summer.