Manchester United made the headlines last night as they hijacked Lyon’s bid to sign Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia.
The left-back was on course to join Les Gones, but United’s late bid of €15 million plus add-ons swayed the deal in their favour.
It has since been reported that Malacia has chosen to join United and it could be a matter of time before his arrival is confirmed.
How could Malacia improve United?
Malacia is a modern attacking full-back. He should provide quality competition to Luke Shaw next term as he excels in multiple attributes.
The 22-year-old is strong defensively and averaged 2.7 tackles per league game last season, much superior to what Shaw achieved (1.1).
He also won twice the number of duels per appearance (6 to 3.2). Going forward, the Dutchman managed an impressive 1.6 shots on average
Malacia still needs to improve on his crossing abilities, but manager Erik ten Hag should make the best use of his attacking skills.
The 52-year-old wanted to bring Malacia to Ajax last year, and his fearless and regular overlapping runs should suit his style of play.
Who could leave with Malacia’s arrival?
Alex Telles has been the regular deputy for Shaw over the past two years. He got an extended run of games during the second half of last season due to Shaw’s leg surgery.
Telles had a decent campaign going forward with five goal contributions, but defensively, he was caught out of position on multiple occasions without being able to track back.
With Malacia’s arrival, he would potentially become the third-choice left-back. This could pave the way for his departure as he needs minutes ahead of the winter World Cup.
Telles has earned call-ups from Brazil manager Tite this year, but he faces competition from Alex Sandro, Guilherme Arana and possibly Renan Lodi ahead of the major showpiece.
His chances of making the World Cup squad are highly reliant on him playing regular first-team football, and he could leave United on a permanent basis this summer.
Alongside Telles, it appears Brandon Williams could be on his way out. The club graduate had a frustrating loan spell with Norwich City, who were relegated from the top-flight.
He has been told that he is free to leave the club. It could be the best option for his career as he would literally become the fourth-choice left-back with Malacia’s switch to Old Trafford.
Williams can also operate as a right-back as he is right-foot dominant, but he faces a similar situation with Diogo Dalot, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Axel Tuanzebe ahead of him in the pecking order.
There is a possibility that both Wan-Bissaka and Tuanzebe could leave this summer, but United seem to be already eyeing a replacement. They have been heavily linked with Inter’s Denzel Dumfries.
United could be tempted to loan out Williams for another season, but a permanent exit can’t be ruled out either, considering the club also need to recoup funds from player sales to boost their spending.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and SofaScore.com