Toby Alderweireld and Antoine Griezmann – Why Signing These Two Will Make United As Strong As Man City
Manchester United are interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld at the end of the season as Jose Mourinho eyes massive overhaul in defence, as per reports.
The Manchester Evening News report that Alderweireld is contracted to Spurs until 2019 but his deal includes a one-year extension which is set to be triggered in the summer of 2019.
However, of the extension is activated by Spurs, there is a clause in his current deal which says he can leave for £25m next summer.
It is believed that United are keeping an eye on the Belgian’s situation at Tottenham as the player continues to stall on a new contract.
The 28-year-old is slowly working his way back from injury and was, therefore, left at home as Tottenham came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Juventus in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.
Mourinho has prioritised signing a central midfielder in the summer but after recent shambolic displays from our defenders, he has changed his stance a bit and now wants to get a new defender.
The Red Devils did sign Victor Lindelof from Benfica at the start of the season but the Swede has found it difficult to adjust and adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
Marcos Rojo returned from injury late last year, while Eric Bailly, having undergone a surgery on his ankle, is sidelined until next month. This has left Mourinho to rely on Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
While Jones has blown hot and cold this season, Smalling has been nothing short of a disappointment. United have only leaked 27 goals this season, keeping 21 clean sheets in the process, and have the meanest defence in the Premier League.
However, it could be Smalling’s last season at United given his performances of late, and arguably Jones’ too. When Bailly returns from injury, either Rojo or Lindelof should partner him in the heart of the defence but Mourinho has planned to go a step ahead and get Alderweireld from the Lilywhites.
Spurs are a very well-drilled side under Mauricio Pochettino – solid defensively and entertaining on the attack. Jan Vertonghen has been a rock at the back for them, and while summer signing Davinson Sanchez has performed extremely well, Alderweireld’s authority and defensive discipline are missed when he’s out.
Tottenham’s defence looks a different proposition when Alderweireld is at the heart of it. The Belgian’s calmness, discipline and command in the air are top notch, which makes him a perfect signing for Mourinho.
Mourinho’s former teams were all renowned for their defensive organisation and solidity. Though he has built that at United to some extent, the signing of Alderweireld could be the final piece in the jigsaw in terms of defence.
In terms of attack, United already made a statement of intent by signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last month. The Chilean was about to join our rivals Manchester City but Mourinho stole him under the nose of his nemesis, Pep Guardiola.
When Sanchez settles properly at Old Trafford, the team would become sleeker and fluid in the attack. While he would offer the Red Devils a different verve in the attack, there remains a hole on the right-hand side of our attack.
The likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Sanchez are all left-wingers and Mourinho needs a left-footed wide man on the right-wing. Juan Mata has often filled that role and regardless of the Spaniard’s decent displays on the right, he has often been accused of slowing down the game.
Mourinho could solve that problem with the signing of £90m-rated Antoine Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid forward was set to join United, only for the transfer ban to be upheld by the Court of Arbitration for sport. And after the transfer ban was lifted last month, he was linked with a move to Old Trafford.
It is quite clear that Griezmann wants to leave Atletico in his quest for trophies and personal accolades. Mourinho would know the Frenchman’s qualities and ability to win games single-handedly. The Atletico Madrid attacker would be an ideal fit on the right and of course, an upgrade on Mata.
The United manager must prioritise signing a strong and skilful central midfielder before trying to get the likes of Alderweireld and Griezmann in summer.
If the Portuguese succeeds in getting them, it would make United as strong as City, who are expected to splash the cash again next summer.