Manchester United made a bit of mess of the transfer window with their failure to sign a new centre-back but this could be something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sorts out in January.
Ed Woodward may well want to reconsider a move for Burnley colossus James Tarkowski after Harry Maguire’s nightmarish start to the season for club and country, while Eric Bailly will have done himself no favours whatsoever with his performance against Spurs.
According to The Athletic, United considered a move for the Burnley centre-back in the summer and the Red Devils failed in their attempts to bolster their defence, despite being heavily linked to RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly as well as Tarkowski.
However, United will likely want to sign a new defender either in January or next summer and thet apparently believe that Tarkowski is a cheaper alternative to the aforementioned duo. It’s claimed that Sean Dyche’s side value Tarkowski at £40m and whilst West Ham were also linked with the 27-year-old, they could not reach an agreement with the Clarets.
Tarkowski, who has won two caps for his country so far, missed the start of the season due to injury. Although the England international featured against Manchester City and Newcastle United, he was powerless to prevent Dyche’s side from suffering back-to-back losses.
Whilst Burnley lost the game, Tarkowski still managed to put in an impressive performance against the Magpies – per SofaScore, he made three clearances, completed three tackles, and blocked one shot, which shows he still contributed massively despite the defeat. He also played one key pass, so he’s clearly doing more than just putting in a defensive shift.
Similarly to Burnley, Solskjaer’s side have suffered a stop-start to the season, losing to Crystal Palace then slumping to a humiliating defeat at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. Selected instead of Victor Lindelof, Bailly was a total liability in hat game as he gifted Spurs their third goal with an errant pass inside the area.
United’s defensive capitulation will have given Solskjaer cause for concern, while Tarkowski managed more tackles than both Bailly and Maguire (1.7) last season, so you can only imagine how solid the Red Devils would be at the back if they deployed a back four involving the Burnley man and Maguire, as well as Aaron Wan-Bissaka and new arrival Alex Telles.
Once lauded as a “very good player” by Dyche, the Burnley boss singled the centre-back out for praise after he burst onto the international stage. One thing is for sure, he will not be short of suitors next summer. Tarkowski is open to leaving Turf Moor to improve his career ambitions, and the Red Devils should renew their efforts in order to sign him in the future.
AND in other news, Man United must secure loan deal for Brandon Williams…