Dani Alves may not be the force he once was, but that has not put off Manchester United, with the Premier League’s most successful side believed to be firmly in the running for his signature. A free agent in the summer, the 31-year-old’s Barcelona career appears to be over as contract negotiations look unlikely at the Nou Camp, so the Red Devils could get themselves a little bargain early doors.
But, does this potential addition make sense? We think so, and here are FIVE reasons why Alves could solve some of the issues at United for the princely sum of £0…
Should Alves head to Old Trafford, his direct competitor (so long as he’s kept) would be compatriot Rafael. The younger of the two Brazilians has been a United player for some time now, yet he’s failed to truly live up to the potential and promise talked about upon his breakthrough to the first-team. With both players having been limited in terms of playing time this term, the stats from last season have been crunched, and Alves comes out on top in almost every department. The Barca man is more of a threat in terms of goals and assists-per-90-minutes, while he also goes about his defensive work more effectively.
Not a bad record there, Dani! The 31-year-old has won silverware in two different continents, picked up just about every trophy going with Barca and has also been successful in his 79 outings for Brazil. This level of know-how could be vital in the short-term for United, who need to get back to the top, and sharpish!
One dig aimed at Alves through his career has been his solidity heading towards his own goal. With Barca he’s very rarely been forced to defend excessively in a back four, playing instead as more of a wing-back, making overlapping runs. LVG has attempted to bring in a 3-4-3 formation, and Alves would fit the role on the right hand side perfectly.
Alves, although a defender, in true Brazilian style is a massive threat at the other end of the pitch. He possesses a rocket of a shot, is still pacey in the golden years of his career and knows how to play the ball in slick, effective fashion. United have been a bit cumbersome this term, so another threat from wide could be a significant improvement.
While money isn’t exactly tight at Old Trafford, sparing a few pennies could be a good option, with multiple new faces needed at the Theatre of Dreams. Seamus Coleman and Nathaniel Clyne have been mooted as right-back option, but both would be costly. Alves on a free would allow cash to be diverted towards replacements for Falcao and Van Persie, a new centre-back and a top-class midfielder.