Why Manchester United should sign Alex Grimaldo in January
Manchester United made just three signings over the summer, with the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Harry Maguire arriving at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils endured a mediocre last campaign, finishing sixth in the table and subsequently missing out on a place in the Champions League. They were really poor defensively and had the worst record amongst the top-six sides in the division.
Perhaps, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prioritised fixing the defence this transfer window by bringing in Wan-Bissaka and Maguire.
James’ addition has proven excellent so far, with the Welsh winger quickly becoming a favourite at Old Trafford with his pace, direct running and finishing.
While United let go of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez and signed only James to bolster the forward line, Solskjaer feels he has enough firepower to sustain this entire season.
And now United are aiming to tie down the futures of their key players. Victor Lindelof signed a new deal with the Red Devils on Wednesday, while David de Gea agreed on a new contract on Monday.
With Maguire and Wan-Bissaka arriving this summer, and the futures of Luke Shaw, Lindelof and De Gea secured, Solskjaer has a backline now to completely trust upon for at least the next five years.
Truth be told, however, Shaw, who signed a new five-year contract last October, appears to be the weak link in the United backline. The 24-year-old has been ruled out of action for a month with a hamstring problem he suffered during the club’s shock defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Injuries have constantly plagued Shaw’s Old Trafford career, and by the looks of his performances, it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting back to his best. Or maybe, the England international, who was last season’s United Player of the Year, needs competition to unlock his true potential.
Back in January 2018, a report from the Daily Star had claimed that United were interested in signing Benfica star, Alex Grimaldo. A move didn’t materialise then but the Red Devils would be smart to reignite their interest in the player come January.
A La Masia graduate, Alex Grimaldo has established himself as one of the best attacking left-backs in Europe.
Fast, intelligent and tactically competent – the 23-year-old boasts of everything that Solskjaer looks for in a full-back. He makes intelligent runs on the flanks and displays great movements in the final third.
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Grimaldo often likes to drift centrally to link play, something Shaw has not offered for United. He contributes consistently in Benfica’s attacking build-up and can hold his own at the back as well.
The Spaniard is potent from dead-ball situations and his time at Benfica has given him experience in the UEFA Champions League, too.
If United are to start competing for titles, they need competition in every department. And the Benfica defender would just be the right profile of player to cover and compete with Shaw. Hence, the Red Devils must go all out to sign Grimaldo in January.