Manchester United have not made any moves in the transfer window so far in terms of new additions but have been linked with a host of players in various positions, with the appointment of Ralf Rangnick building hope of a change in direction for the club as they seek their first trophy since 2017.
The club have had another disappointing season, struggling to get comfortable in the top four, winning just nine of their first 19 league games, but they have had a good run so far under Rangnick since he joined the club in November.
The German went unbeaten in his first five Premier League games and the team picked up 10 points out of a possible 15 in their last five games prior to this evening’s clash at Aston Villa. That has put them in a more competitive position for the remainder of the season as they chase a Champions League qualifying place.
The squad has shown weaknesses during disappointing performances this season, most recently in their 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford earlier this month, and Rangnick will need to identify the areas which can be improved over the coming months within his squad.
One player who has been linked with the Red Devils during this transfer window is Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger, who has been an outstanding performer for the Champions League holders this season, and now it seems that he has attracted the attention of the Manchester club.
The German defender, who is out of contract in the summer, has won 78% of his aerial duels and helped Chelsea to keep eight clean sheets this season, with the 6 foot 2 beast also scoring three goals and providing four assists in all competitions so far, proving he is effective both defensively and offensively.
This diversity in his play from the centre-back position is similar to that of United legend Rio Ferdinand, who also used his pace and ability to read games and dictate play both in his defensive and progressive actions, as well as leadership qualities in the backline which earned him legendary status at Old Trafford.
If the £31.5m-rated Chelsea gem were to join the Red Devils, Ferdinand would definitely approve too, as the ex-United star claimed that Rudiger “isn’t getting beaten” in his position. Speaking on his podcast last year, the 43-year-old gushed: ‘He isn’t getting beaten by no one at the moment the way that he’s on it and he’s concentrating.’
Rangnick will have a challenge on his hands if he plans to sign the defender from Stamford Bridge this summer, as many other clubs are interested in securing his signature – including Chelsea themselves, who have also opened contract talks with the player and his agent over the last few days.
It’s clear from the praise and statistics above that Rudiger is a sublime defender, so the United boss must do everything he can to bring the 28-year-old to Old Trafford.
In other news: Alex Crook gives an update on this potential Man Utd signing