Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Mathys Tel could replace Marcus Rashford at Man Utd; four other clubs he’d suit revealed

Mathys Tel, Marcus Rashford and the Man Utd badge

Is Mathys Tel good enough for Man Utd - and to replace Marcus Rashford?

Mathys Tel has had limited gametime this season for Bayern Munich, prompting Manchester United and two other English clubs to reportedly enquire about him recently.

With players such as Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman all ahead of him and new signing Bryan Zaragoza also able to play on the left-wing, could Tel be on the move in search of gametime?

28 games played looks good on paper, but he’s only played 735 minutes (26.3 minutes per game) and only four of these appearances have been starts. In fact, in the Bundesliga this season, he’s not started once out of the 22 times he’s been in the squad, and he’s been substituted on 18 times.

Despite this lack of gametime he’s been influential whenever given minutes. This season he has six goals and four assists in all competitions. This gives him a goal or assist every 73.5 minutes.

In the Bundesliga (three goals, three assists in 364 minutes) he has a goal every 60.7 minutes. My point being, he’s too good to be sat on the bench all the time.

Bayern signed Tel from Stade Rennais for around €30m when he was 17 and had only played 77 minutes for Rennes’ first team. Tel had been through their notoriously good academy and looked ready for senior football and Bayern pounced. They secured one of the best young strikers for seemingly a lot of money at the time but now it seems like a gamble that was worth the risk and has paid off.

Getting his first goal at 17 years and 126 days old to be Bayern’s youngest ever goal-scorer, Tel made it clear early on that Bayern had signed a serious prospect.

Tel is a clinical finisher. For me, one of the best around. The way he can get off shots so quickly with minimal backlift is so impressive.

As a finisher he doesn’t have any angle bias, he can get shots off on target even at the tightest angles and on his ‘weaker’ left foot. Tel’s ‘weak foot’ ability means he can take players on near the box on either foot and still shoot accurately. This only makes him more unpredictable and harder to mark.

READ MORE10 exciting Brazilian talents set for European moves: Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal targets, ‘the next Neymar…’

The Frenchman’s ball-striking is so impressive. Shooting form distance, he strikes the ball with so much power that it’s tough to stop his shots. Even when in a one-on-one he loves to smash shots in rather than place them but also does so accurately.

Tel loves to make runs in behind the defence particularly between the opponent’s right-back and right-sided centre-back. It’s these areas as an inside forward where Tel shines as he explodes into space and powers a finish past the keeper.

Tel’s intelligent movement creates high-quality chances for himself and he just needs to play with someone who can consistently find him and he’ll score lots of goals. When playing as a striker he drifts to the left a lot so he can isolate defenders in 1v1 situations and beat them to cut inside on his right foot.

In addition to this, Tel often plays as a left-winger for Bayern and in the past at Rennes too. He’s a quick player but not lightning fast, he’s smart with where he runs though always looking to get through the defence.

Mathys Tel has 28 appearances, 6 goals and 4 assists this season

One of his most impressive traits is his physical maturity. Tel has a compact frame with good physicality. When shoulder to shoulder with a defender he’s tough to muscle off the ball and shields the ball well with his body. Tel’s physicality means he’s got decent hold-up and back-to-goal play too as a striker.

Tel’s athleticism is impressive too. He’s really springy which allows him to escape challenges and get shots off quickly with a lot of power. But this power in his legs also gives Tel a good vertical jump to be an aerial threat too. He’s displayed good heading ability when the opportunity to has arisen.

Where his future lies positionally depends on which team picks him up. But right now, his best position is as an inside forward in a system where he receives the ball high and narrow on the left side of the goal. Get him lots of service here and he can be a clinical goal-scorer.

But in the future, he could just become and out and out #9 for a team due to his physical nature. He’s more likely to come central as a striker than to go further wide as a pure winger.

If Tel was to become purely a striker, then he’d need to further develop his back-to-goal play and hold-up play to enable him to be a more complete forward. Luckily for him he has the physical and technical tools to bring this together. It’s just about him having a good coach and consistent minutes in this position and he can become well rounded.

Where would Mathys Tel fit in at Manchester United?

A move to Manchester United has its pros and cons. Firstly, if his reason for a move away was to play regular minutes, then his pathway to the first team would be still a competitive one.

Looking at Manchester United’s options, Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho are the main left-wingers and Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial are the strikers.

Martial is very injury prone and is likely to be on the move and with two left wingers at the club the most likely position for Tel would be as the back-up striker to Hojlund. But at Bayern, he’s also the back-up to Kane. However, in this situation he’d be more likely to be able to start over his competition.

As a player, his profile is somewhat similar to Rashford’s. This does make me wonder, is he seen as either a long-term or short-term replacement for Rashford? Maybe Rashford could be a replacement for the outgoing Kylian Mbappe at PSG, meaning Tel is his replacement. But what’s more likely is that Tel would be a rotation option for both Rashford and Hojlund.

In fact, as a striker, Tel could interchange positions with Rashford well. When Rashford comes inside, Tel drifts wide to pull defenders out the way and create space for Rashford to drive into or shoot. Although they’re similar in some ways, Tel is better suited to being a #9 than Rashford so this could work well.

Manchester United lineup with Mathys Tel

I have no doubts that Tel has the quality to move over to Manchester United and be a success. The question is more if he’d want to move there. If they don’t quality for the Champions League, would he want to play in the Europa League or Conference League when he could stay at Bayern or go to another team and do so? That remains to be seen. But I do think he’d be a good signing for them if they pulled it off.

The one aspect I do wonder about with Tel for Manchester United is do they really need him? Considering the inconsistent right-wingers they’ve had and still have at the club that’s more of a priority along with the defence and midfield. Striker is definitely a position they need depth in because they could potentially have only Hojlund for it. But Tel is likely to cost a lot and if he did, then he’d use a lot of their budget that would stop them buying the quality additions needed in positions like defensive-midfielder, right-back, centre-back and right-wing. The main way I can see this happening is if they managed to pull off a loan deal for Tel.

Where else could he go?

The initial report was that two other English teams have also enquired about Tel. If I had to guess who they were I’d say any of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. All three of these make sense but there’s another team in another league I could see being interested in him too.

Chelsea: Chelsea are in need of a goal-scorer, a clinical finisher and Tel is exactly that. They’ve lacked a clinical presence up top with Christopher Nkunku out injured for most of this season and Nicolas Jackson struggling in front of goal. They’ve even opted to play Cole Palmer or Raheem Sterling centrally which has come with mixed results.

Tel’s movement in the box and running in behind would be a helpful addition for them and would come with plenty of goals. The only issue here is they’re probably in need of more of a tall #9 to link players – more like the other targets they’ve been linked to such as Victor Osimhen, Ivan Toney, Viktor Gyokeres and Victor Boniface etc.

Also, convincing Tel to join when they won’t have Champions League football and might not even have European football may make it more difficult.

Arsenal: Up front this season, at times Arsenal have failed to make the most of their opportunities. It’s led to them dominating games in terms of possession and shots for vs shots against but they’ve left games with a loss or draw. In these games it’s felt like a clinical striker would’ve been the difference maker.

They’re in need of more instinctive finishers. Tel as a striker would add exactly this and with Arsenal’s interchanging attackers and fluid-playstyle it would allow Tel to slot in nicely and get a high volume of shots as the striker or inside forward. If Tel is given this type of service of high-quality chances, he’ll score a lot of goals.

He could also be rotation for Gabriel Martinelli at left-wing or when starting together they could interchange nicely to create chances for each other and be more unpredictable to mark. But again, majority of Arsenal’s targets are seemingly taller strikers.

Tottenham: Maybe slightly out there but Tel had been linked with Tottenham when they sold Kane to Bayern. Since then Eric Dier also joined Bayern from Tottenham so maybe the relationship between the two clubs is good and therefore they’re interested in him still.

The fact they’re another club based in London who might be in the Champions League next season could be a selling point. Their new stadium, the exciting attacking football they’ve been playing under Ange Postecoglou and the chance to be a regular for a Premier League team could all be factors.

Tel has a lot of similarities with Heung-min Son who has also played as a left-sided inside forward and as a striker. Signing Tel now whilst Son is still at the club would be smart business. He’d make an impact now, then be the long-term replacement to be the star of their attack. Tottenham would have a lot of competition for him but if they pulled this off, he’d be a great signing.

PSG: This is the big one. If Mbappe leaves PSG as expected, they need a replacement. Tel would be perfect.

As a player, his profile as a left-sided inside forward is similar. He’s not as quick but has a similar style of being a good ball manipulator to create space to shoot and attacking the space in between the RB and RCB, cutting inside on his right foot to shoot. Signing Tel could be like the signing of Mbappe from Monaco: still needs refining, but a world-class talent.

Tel also adds to the French core they’re creating with Ousmane Dembele, Bradley Barcola, Warren Zaire-Emery, Randal Kolo Muani and Lucas Hernandez all key players.

PSG are also looking at Osimhen and Rafael Leao and I’d assume even Rashford as replacements for Mbappe. They might prefer to go for a big name like these. But Tel is of the quality and a ‘homegrown’ talent so I’m sure he’ll be in contention too.

Right now though, it’s mainly Manchester United who’ve had the most concrete links to Tel. Watch out for developments on this because if things continue how they are, he might be on the move to your team.