Mats Hummels

The obvious and most likely choice to replace Rio Ferdinand is Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, who has been linked with an Old Trafford switch ever since he claimed back-to-back Bundesliga titles at Westfalen in 2011 and 2012, before going to the Euros with Germany and earning international acclaim for his talismanic performances.

Measuring in at 6 foot 4, the 25 year-old is a fearsome force in the air, best represented by his 5 aerial duels won per match in the German top flight this season.

But Hummels’ widespread appreciation can be sourced from his ability to play out of the back and link-up with the midfield, illustrated by his 1.2 dribbles and 62.2 passes per match, often leading to comparisons with German playmaking-sweeper legend Franz Beckenbauer. Manchester United have lacked that front-footed presence at the heart of defence ever since Ferdinand’s pace began to evaporate a few years ago.

Experienced internationally and in Europe too, Hummels boasts 28 caps for Germany and will undoubtedly feature heavily at the World Cup in Brazil, and also played a key role in Dortmund’s march to last season’s Champions League final.

In terms of age, experience, quality and style, the Black-Yellows defender ticks all the boxes for the Red Devils. He has a fan in Louis van Gaal too, who recently stated his regret in selling Hummels to Dortmund during their brief time together at Bayern Munich, where the commanding centre-back was regarded as the hottest prospect of the Bavarians’ academy.

His widely mooted £25million price-tag certainly strikes value for money, but United will be aware that Hummels has attracted interest from Barcelona too.


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