During his first press conference as Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho suggested that he would be looking to make four major signings this summer.
Three of those players have already arrived at Old Trafford, whilst the club are hoping to make Paul Pogba the fourth.
Adept and beneficial in front of the Monaco back-four
The self-styled ‘Special One’ did not completely rule out other new arrivals, however, particularly those of the less-heralded variety.
Reported by the Daily Express to be a target, Tiemoue Bakayoko certainly falls into that category, with the AS Monaco midfielder a veteran of just 55 games in Ligue 1.
Adept at providing protection in front of his back-four, the 21-year-old could do a similar job for Mourinho to the one that Nemanja Matic did for him at Chelsea.
Interestingly, AS Monaco averaged an extra 0.4 points per game in the top-flight last season when the young holding midfielder was involved, even securing a 2-0 success at Paris Saint-Germain along the way.
Is Bakayoko good enough for the Red Devils?
Potentially, maybe. However, with just 22 matches under his belt with AS Monaco, he’s probably not yet ready for such a major step-up.
Under new manager Jose Mourinho, the club is primed to regain their place as one of the best teams in Europe.
And in that case, they need players for the ‘here and now’. Players who are ready, mature and well-equipped to deliver on the club’s high and lofty expectations.
Bakayoko seems to have talent and bags of potential, but he still needs more match practice and experience and he won’t likely get it at Old Trafford.
The Schneiderlin conundrum
Added to that, the presence of a proven quality holding midfielder in Morgan Schneiderlin, so do United really need another?
He’s 26 so he still has years left in his locker and is among the best there is in his position in the league.
Schneiderlin is the man United signed to become Carrick’s long-term replacement and, despite Van Gaal’s lack of faith in him for some reason, he’s shown that he has the ability to play as the shield to United’s back-line.
Mourinho isn’t really in need of Matic, Bakayoko, or any other holding midfielder; he already has a quality one in his roster.
Written by the folks at Kickoff
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