At the end of last season, it was claimed Manchester United were set for a new era that would include a director of sport and more statistical-based scouting. The club’s hardcore fans wouldn’t want to admit it, but they sought a more Liverpool style of identifying players and signing them. So, is that how they have come to desire Paulo Dybala this summer among the transfer targets on their list?
What was said just a few months ago and what the club is doing now is not the same. We are just over a week away from the close of the Premier League summer transfer window and the Red Devils have increased their attempts to buy new players.
Is Paulo Dybala what Manchester United need?
A deal for Harry Maguire still hasn’t been agreed as Manchester United and Leicester City cannot come to terms on a price. There is still no evidence that Manchester United will sign Bruno Fernandes, although it seems likely Sporting Lisbon will sell if offered the right price.
Meanwhile, news on Tuesday broke that the Red Devils were in talks with Juventus over midfielder Paulo Dybala. The Bianconeri seems ready to sell everyone to give Cristiano Ronaldo free reign at the club. A deal would most likely include Romelu Lukaku going the other way. Questions should be asked who will be Manchester United’s No. 9?
Ed Woodward walking into Old Trafford after signing Dybala Fernandes and Maguire pic.twitter.com/AINcPSg5by
— Aadam Ashraf (@aadam_ashraf) July 30, 2019
The Dybala deal seems strange. Firstly, Manchester United are getting into desperation territory. They have signed only Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James to the team. Although Wan-Bissaka is a good Premier League full-back, neither signing has blown supporters away.
For all the flack Liverpool have received for not bringing in new players, it seems the Red Devils, who need an upgrade in personnel, have got a pass from the media.
Where will Paulo Dybala play?
Manchester United’s pursuit of Dybala and Fernandes seems silly. They both play similar positions as second strikers or attacking midfielders. If Dybala and Fernandes both sign, it would push Paul Pogba further back into a defensive role where no one wants him. On the bright side, it could also push Manchester United to sell the Frenchman.
Although Dybala can play on the right side of midfield, he isn’t a true winger. He doesn’t have the speed of an Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford. Dybala is a true No. 10, which is what Fernandes is as well.
Juventus’ last three #10s
Tevez- former Man United player
Pogba- currently at Man United
Dybala- his agent is meeting with Man United
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) July 30, 2019
It seems hard to believe the Argentine would want to leave Juventus and the chance to lift the Champions League trophy for Old Trafford, but he is being ushered to the door in Turin in favour of Lukaku.
Perhaps his five goals and four assists in Serie A in 2018-19 are the reasons Dybala is now expendable. Last season was Dybala’s first at Juventus in which he did not exceed his expected goals tally. The Argentine exceeded his expected assists, but overall, last season was a down year for him in Serie A.
The reason for Dybala’s decline in Serie A in 2018-19 can be put down to Ronaldo’s arrival at the club. Would a new team improve Dybala’s play and production? Perhaps, but Dybala alone does not improve Manchester United.
This goes back to the original issue which was Manchester United saying one thing about scouting and signing players and doing the opposite. The club is desperate to make a splash with the window closing. Dybala would be a splash and sell shirts. But he doesn’t go into the current team and make it a Premier League title contender.
Paulo Dybala makes current Manchester United man expendable
Manchester United have a lot of deadwood. Alexis Sanchez doesn’t appear to be going anywhere at the moment but the Chinese Super League could be an option.
Even the players that are considered Manchester United’s top stars such as Jesse Lingard and Rashford need better players around them to make them better.
In Lingard’s case, Dybala’s arrival would seemingly make the Englishman an expensive back up and push him to the background.
Manchester United need a new No. 9 or Romelu Lukaku to be fit and ready to play 90 minutes every matchday. If a swap for Dybala does occur, who does Solskjaer play as his No. 9? Rashford hasn’t shown he can be a top-scoring No. 9. His 10 Premier League goals last season was a career-best but still fewer than Lukaku’s 12.
Dybala is an expensive player that Manchester United are ready to throw money at. If it comes off, they will look like geniuses. But if it doesn’t, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be left to pick up the pieces.