With Ralf Rangnick now confirmed as Manchester United’s interim manager, there will certainly be attention on the upcoming transfer window after the Red Devils’ dismal start to the campaign.
Defensive woes have once again been at the forefront of United’s issues, with the Manchester club conceding 24 goals in their 14 Premier League outings thus far.
It’s an issue that needs to be solved immediately, and, not for the first time, Rangnick’s side have recently been linked with a move for Sevilla defender Jules Koundé who per one expert, is a “pretty special player”.
The Frenchman was reportedly close to a move to Chelsea last summer, only for the transfer to fall through. However, it appears that Koundé could have a second chance of making a Premier League move in January.
Despite signing centre-back and Kounde’s fellow countryman Rafael Varane in the summer for a reported £43m, United have still suffered at the back.
The 28-year-old has been limited to just six Premier League appearances with injury issues suffered early into his spell in England. Therefore, the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Baily have been tinkered with by Rangnick’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Having turned 23 last month, Kounde has bags of potential whilst already attracting the attention of top clubs from across Europe.
His current employers Sevilla sit second in La Liga having conceded just 11 goals in 15 matches, the division’s joint-best defensive record. The defender has played in 13 of those games, keeping seven clean sheets in the process.
To put that impressive feat into perspective, in 12 matches, Maguire has only kept two clean sheets. Varane boasts the same tally but in half the matches. It’s obvious to see who would be withdrawn from the starting lineup should Koundé join United and Rangnick has a clean bill of health to deal with.
The £54m-rated man has excellent passing stats too, according to SofaScore, with the defender currently enjoying a 90% per game pass accuracy.
Since his appointment as interim Manchester United manager, there has been plenty of coverage regarding the talent that Rangnick has worked with and developed over his managerial career.
The likes of Sadio Mané, Erling Haaland and Joshua Kimmich were all purchased by Rangnick before they became world-class talents. However, the difference between these deals and a potential move for Koundé is the fees.
The German is notorious for buying young players with bags of potential for small prices to then develop them into valuable assets; Koundé wouldn’t be an example of that.
If United are to secure a transfer for the Sevilla defender, they’re going to have to pay a sizeable fee. However, with their defensive woes, it could prove to be a shrewd move, one that makes their new interim boss an instant hit at the Theatre of Dreams.