In Focus: Grimaldo has potential to solve problem position for Man United

As reported by The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo.

What’s the story?

Jose Mourinho got a good look at Grimaldo when his side went up against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League last week and it seems that the 22-year-old has impressed him enough to take further action.

The Sun say the Manchester United manager has ordered his scouts to track the progress of the Spanish youngster amid problems in the left-back position at Old Trafford, due to injuries suffered by the likes of Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw.

The paper reckon he has a £50m release clause in his contract, which doesn’t run out until 2021, so could cost the Red Devils a pretty penny, but he has shown the potential to become an elite defender and could be worth pursuing.

How did he play against United?

A good measurement of his current ability is how he fared going up against potential teammates and it’s fair to say he was one of the stand-outs for Benfica in their narrow defeat to Mourinho’s side.

According to WhoScored, he completed 44 passes on the night, which was more than anyone else in the Portuguese side. His coverage of the left flank was impressive, not just settling for defensive play but showing the ambition to get into United’s half. Also completing three dribbles, he displayed an ability to take on elite opposition.

His career so far

Grimaldo is a product of the Barcelona youth academy so has a great footballing education behind him. Since moving to Benfica in early 2016, he’s made 34 appearances for the club, winning six trophies with the Portuguese giants already.

With Spain youth international caps at four age levels up to the U21s, he’s also got the chance to become a full international for his country, which would only be a benefit to his club career given the standard of that squad.

All in all he seems to be a smart buy for a Premier League club such as Manchester United and their reported interest is something that should intrigue supporters in upcoming transfer windows.