Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Manchester United to battle with Tottenham to land Lille defender

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Manchester United will go head-to-head with Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur for the signing of Lille centre-back Sven Botman this summer.

The Red Devils are in dire need of some defensive reinforcements this summer. They have conceded 42 league goals this summer. And 27 of those have come at Old Trafford, which is more than any team has conceded in the top 12 of the league table.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows the importance of signing a centre-back this summer. The Norwegian wants someone who can complement club captain Harry Maguire in the heart of United’s defence. As a result, he is ready to prioritise a centre-back over any position in the summer transfer window.

As reported, they have recently been linked with Atalanta’s Christian Romero. The club are also monitoring Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde, Pau Torres, and Ben White for the position.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer target new defender
Ole knows he needs to improve his defence this summer. Photo: Central Fife Times

United’s and Spurs’ interest in Botman

According to Transfer Market Web, United are keen to land Sven Botman this summer. But they stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur for his services.

Botman is a product of the famous Ajax academy but never really played for the first-team. The 21-year-old defender joined Lille permanently in 2019 after a successful loan spell with Dutch side Heerenveen. And he has been a revelation since joining the French club.

The Dutch centre-back has played 35 out of a possible 36 Ligue 1 games this season as Lille find themselves just two wins away from winning the French title. He alongside 37-year-old centre-back Jose Fonte has been immense at the back for Lille. The duo have only conceded 22 league goals this season, which is the least of any team in Europe’s top-five leagues this campaign. And Botman’s mercurial season at the back has seen him get a WhoScored rating of exact 7.

They were interests in him from Liverpool in the January transfer window. But he decided to stay in France and will be rewarded with a league winner medal this season.

Manchester United to battle with Tottenham to land Lille defender this summer
Botman has been excellent for Lille this season. Photo: Last Word on Sports

Who needs Botman more, United or Spurs?

Spurs are not having as prolific a season as United and are currently manager-less after the sacking of Jose Mourinho last month. But it’s fair to say, both teams need to solve their defensive issues this summer.

United’s current centre-backs, apart from Maguire, have been very inconsistent with their performances. Victor Lindelof has partnered with Maguire for the majority of games but has received massive backlash for his performances this season. Eric Bailly signed a new deal earlier this month but his injuries will always hold them back from being in the first team. And Solskjaer doesn’t trust Axel Tuanzebe.

Whereas for Spurs, their centre-back situation needs serious improvement. Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have been very disappointing this season. And they urgently need to replace Toby Alderwiereld. But lack of Champions League football next season will make it tough for them to sign good players in the summer.

At the moment, it looks like Spurs can do good with any decent centre-back. And Botman will definitely improve their backline. But United have a more stable squad than Spurs and looks like a team who can challenge for the title with Botman in the team. A move to United would be good for both parties.


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