Man Utd eyeing up Monaco ace with distinct area of concern

Date published: Saturday 16th May 2020 4:02 - Steve Pearson


Man Utd have identified a Monaco full-back as an ideal summer signing, though transfer experts Ian McGarry and Duncan Castles have pinpointed a rather obvious area in which the player must improve.

The Red Devils shifted transfer strategy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to target younger players with a view to developing them into world class stars while at Old Trafford.

Superstar youngsters the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish have been persistently linked with the team, with Man Utd expected to be one of the few clubs capable of making a splash in the summer window despite the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

And one area Man Utd will reportedly look to strengthen is at left-back.

According to transfer gurus Castles and McGarry, the club have identified 23-year-old Monaco full-back Fode Ballo-Toure as a prime candidate to bolster their defensive ranks.

However, despite the player’s undoubted potential, the duo noted how he is still lacking in a rather important area for a defender.

“There are very, very few clubs who will be immune to the financial implications and consequences of the current global pandemic, McGarry told the Transfer Window podcast (via the Daily Express).”

“We do expect Manchester United to be one of those clubs, however we also expect the market to be very much deflated with regards to fees paid and contracts etc.


“It seems to me that United might be just getting their house in order in terms of forward-planning, looking properly in the right positions that they need to strengthen.

“I think we both know from our sources that they also want a centre-back partner for Harry Maguire, as well as an attacking player and possibly a striker as well.

“But in going to Ballo-Toure, it seems to me that that’s a very clever, quite forward-thinking move.

“Having seen the player play in Ligue 1 this season his defending could certainly be improved but he’s 23, he can still be coached.

Fode Ballo-Toure TEAMtalk

“People have been scoffing about ‘where did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get this reputation as some kind of transfer wizard?’.

“Well, if this is the kind of move that he is looking at making, then it certainly wouldn’t harm his reputation should this happen and Ballo-Toure is a success.”

Expanding further on Toure’s defensive frailties, Castles said: “He’s a 23-year-old left-back. He is an exceptionally quick, very powerful player, physically has lots of stamina, strikes me as having a very good profile for English football from a physical perspective.


“Also I’m told he’s an excellent character, so there’s belief that he would transfer well from the French game to the English game and not have as long an adaptation process as some players do when they switch countries.”

“There’s a bit of a question about his football intelligence, it’s a common theme I think with left-backs, attacking left-backs in football these days, because there’s such an emphasis on players who can add to the attack, the defensive qualities can sometimes be questionable.

“That’s the doubt people have about Ballo-Toure, where they want to see him develop.

“He himself is on record as saying his concentration is a weak point.”

Meanwhile, on-loan Red Devils frontman Odion Ighalo has laid his cards down on the table regarding his future at the club.


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