The German rock to shore up Manchester United’s defence

Name: Mats Hummels

Country: Germany

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Age: 25

International Caps: 35

Position: Centre-back

Having faced a fair share of criticism and adversity in his career so far, Mats Hummels has truly come out smelling of roses so far during the World Cup. The Dortmund centre-back is the de facto leader in the heart of the German defence, and consistently high level performances over the past three seasons have predictably led to the 25-year-old facing questions over his future.

Manchester United, in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, are believed to be focusing their attentions on the man once sold by Bayern Munich for a mere fraction of the price Jurgen Klopp would demand of him today.

Hummels, considered these days as one of the world’s most accomplished centre-backs, has not always been so secure of his place. Instated in the heart of the German defence in Euro 2012, Hummels faced a great deal of criticism, not least from Joachim Low, when Mario Balotelli ran amok in the heart of Die Nationalmannschaft. He was also at the centre of a Munich-Dortmund split in the German camp in the build-up to the same tournament.

Since then, however, and most particularly during the past four weeks, Hummels has reaffirmed his status as the conductor of the German defence. He has overcome the slightly more direct approach he often took to advancing possession for a shorter, sharper approach preferred by Low.

Hummels’ exceptional reading of the game has been vital to the success of the German defence so far this summer. Opting to field four nominal centre-halves to comprise his high four-man defence, Low has relied on Hummels’ discipline and expert judgment to repel any dangers. By and large, it has been a successful tactic. Hummels’ man-of-the-match performance against France in Germany’s 1-0 quarter-final victory was testament to his consistency so far this summer.

Two goals in Brazil, to go with his repeatedly top performances, have aided Germany in their pursuit of a fourth World Cup. With every good performance comes an increase in price. But for United, there seems to be no limit on spending. If they’re prepared to shell out £31 million on Luke Shaw, then there’s no telling what they will put towards signing Hummels. And you better believe he’ll be worth the outlay.

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