Manchester United’s era has hardly started with a bang under Erik ten Hag but some key decisions have already been made at Old Trafford.
On Wednesday it was confirmed that Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard would indeed be leaving United behind at the end of their contracts this summer.
It marks a sad end for the midfield duo but it’s now crucial ten Hag gets to business in the transfer market.
One player he could sign is Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio with fresh reports dictating that his agent is set to offer the Spaniard to Man United.
The player has not closed the door on an exit from the Bernabeu but it’s not known at this stage whether United actually want the player.
It will be interesting to see how ten Hag attacks the transfer window after being appointed the new manager of United.
It’s clear that a number of areas need reinforcing throughout the summer and they will need to unearth someone who can not only create more goal-scoring opportunities but also find the back of the net.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes surpassed double figures for goals in 2021/21 so Asensio could certainly help improve that.
Capable of playing on the wing or in a number 10 role, his versatility and overall qualities are similar to that of Manchester City’s Phil Foden.
The young Englishman is the very definition of a wonderkid and helped himself to a haul of 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions as Man City won the Premier League title.
According to FB Ref’s similar players model, the pair are comparable and when you look at the stats, it’s clear to see why.
They both score 0.16 goals per shot and have the exact same xG per 90 minutes of 0.39. Furthermore, they are both similarly measurable when it comes to short pass success, with Asensio completing 89.3% compared to Foden’s 90.8%
Furthermore, the Madrid star makes 6.93 passes under pressure per 90 compared to the Man City starlet’s 7.37. There is a small gap but it still makes them incredibly alike.
To further illustrate how similar the offensive duo are, Foden produces 3.51 shot-creating actions per 90 compared to Asensio’s 3.38. Finally, their carries in possession of the ball are almost identical with the former registering 42.8 to the latter’s 42.3.
Although the Spain international is four years older than the Premier League title-winner, he’d still be a superb signing. After all, the attacker has been dubbed “magical” by teammate Casemiro.
This is certainly someone that ten Hag should be looking to build his new team around.