The Football Manc Cave

Focusing on the football news in Greater Manchester

Should Man Utd opt for 25yo defender over Serie A star?

Manchester United are looking at bringing in a long-term defensive partner for Harry Maguire, with Chris Smalling being a key factor in negotiations.

However, there are many implications to the deal happening. Roma want Smalling on another year loan after an impressive outing in Serie A last season. Solskjaer wants Smalling out to make way for another defender in the shape of Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

Solskjaer wants to use Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez as make-weights in a deal to bring the Slovakian to Old Trafford according to Calcio Mercato.

After having the third-best defensive record in the Premier League last season, Solskjaer knows that to stand any chance of bettering his team’s third-place finish; He has to strengthen the backline.

Skriniar is currently valued at 43.2million via Transfermarkt, although you can see him going for more than that. Combined, Smalling and Sanchez are valued at 28.8million. This would certainly make the initial outlay drop massively after both players have impressed out on loan in Serie A.

Does Skriniar compliment Maguire

Milan Skriniar has amassed experience in the Champions League, Europa League and Serie A over the years with Inter Milan and previously with Sampdoria.

He has a great passing ability and his concentration levels are very strong. However, he lacks pace and his aerial duels are a weak part of his make-up. Maguire needs a player beside him with pace, hence the reason Man United are on the lookout for another centre-back.

We’re not convinced Skriniar fits the bill.

Smalling v Skriniar

Smalling, you may argue that he could have a future at Old Trafford following his season at Roma. Sanchez is way out of the door.

However, in a straight comparison of the two from last season’s Serie A campaign, it’s Smalling that edges it.

Smalling scored three, assisted two and had been booked only three times. Compared to Skriniar’s 0 goals and assists and seven yellow cards with one red.

Skriniar won in the pass success, however, was beaten 3-1 in aerial duels per game.

Smalling also came out on top in every aspect of the defensive game apart from tackles per game (0.8-1.2). The only downside for the English defender is that Skriniar has five years on him and can improve.

Man Utd fans, who would take – Smalling back or Skriniar in?

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