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Man United could seal “impressive” deal with Jesper Karlsson swoop

Manchester United are currently flying high, having now picked up nine successive wins in all competitions, with Saturday’s latest triumph over local rivals Manchester City having illustrated the remarkable turnaround that the club have enjoyed since the start of the season.

The man who has engineered that changes in fortunes – Erik ten Hag – will no doubt be aware that there is still a long way to go for the Red Devils to truly become a consistent force both domestically and in Europe, with the 52-year-old likely to need further transfer windows to be truly able to put his stamp on the squad.

According to The Sun, the former Ajax boss is looking to do just that, having given club scouts a list of multiple Dutch talents to monitor, with the aim to seemingly help to lower the age of the current squad by targeting an array of youthful gems.

One of those on whom the United manager is said to be keen is AZ Alkmaar sensation Jesper Karlsson, with the 24-year-old currently thriving for the Eredivise outfit in his attacking role on the flanks.

The Sweden international – who was reportedly valued at around £13m during the summer amid interest in his services – is reportedly in line to leave his current club this year according to Fabrizio Romano, having caught the eye due to his standout form of late.

The eight-cap machine – who has previously been described as “impressive‘ by journalist Josh Bunting – boasts a haul of 37 goals and 28 assists in 104 games in all competitions for AZ, including four goals and three assists in just 14 outings across all fronts so far this term.

That follows what was a particularly fruitful 2021/22 campaign as the former Elfsborg man chipped in with 15 goals and 13 assists in his 34 league appearances, with that tally of goal contributions better than that of any United player last season.

While perhaps not the glamour name that the Old Trafford outfit may be craving, Karlsson has clearly proven to be a handful in the final third during his time in Alkmaar to date, having notably been described as “inventive” and “unpredictable” by transfer insider Dean Jones last month.

That follows previous praise from the aforementioned Bunting, with the respected source having lauded him as a “very tricky winger, [with] quick feet and a constant threat going forward”.

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The only potential concern for Ten Hag may be that the 5 foot 10 ace has typically done much of his damage off the left flank – a position where United are currently well-stocked with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho – although he does also offer the flexibility to feature in a more central role or on the opposite wing.

As such, should the Red Devils be able to secure a relative low-cost deal for the Swede either this month or in the summer, it could well be a rather ‘impressive’ and astute signing indeed for the Old Trafford club.