Why Kalidou Koulibaly would be a massive signing for Manchester United
In December 2019, transfer guru Ian McGarry (h/t The Express) had claimed that Manchester United have started talks with Napoli over the availability of Kalidou Koulibaly, who is rated at above £55m.
The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best defenders playing in Europe but has so far been hard to prise away from Napoli’s clutches.
But Kalidou Koulibaly has informed Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis of his desire to leave the club in January after the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, who is now the manager of Everton. (h/t The Express)
Manchester United broke the world transfer record for a defender by signing Harry Maguire from Leicester City this past summer. Maguire has largely had a decent start to life at Old Trafford, starting all the 21 Premier League matches for his club this season.
Victor Lindelof has been preferred alongside Maguire by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the partnership hasn’t quite worked. The Red Devils have continued to leak goals, with Solskjaer’s side tasting a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.
That took their tally to 25 goals conceded in the league, which doesn’t bode well for a club that spent heavily in reinforcing the backline before the start of the season.
Solskjaer does have options in central defence in the form of Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo. But none of them has been consistent when given opportunities, while Eric Bailly has just returned from a long-term injury.
Thus, it makes sense for United to improve their centre-back options and Kalidou Koulibaly would be a fantastic fit.
Koulibaly has established himself as one of the most well-rounded centre-backs in Europe since his move to Napoli from Genk in 2014. He has made the Serie A Team of the Year for four seasons in a row since the 2015/16 campaign, and he received the league’s Best Defender award for his impressive 2018/19 season.
The Senegal international will definitely bring more steel and determination to the United backline, whilst taking their defence to another level.
He is robust and reliable with his challenges and is a beast in the air as well. Koulibaly is also a good reader of the game as he often tends to be at the right place at the right time.
The former Genk man is excellent on the ball and possesses the ability to pick a pass in the final third of the pitch. He is a leader and a fantastic organiser of the backline, which makes him exactly the defender Solskjaer’s side is in dire need of.
The partnership of Koulibaly and Maguire could rule the Premier League in the coming years as both of them are currently at the peak of their powers. In the video below, one could get a glimpse of Koulibaly’s overall defending and the qualities he could potentially bring to Old Trafford.
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With a wealth of European experience and international pedigree as well, Koulibaly could transform United’s backline and help them get into the top-four this term.