The José Mourinho revolution at Manchester United hasn’t quite hit the heights most thought it would. In fact, it’s safe to say that the Portuguese manager has grossly underdelivered at Old Trafford. Many have cited those failures to Mourinho’s poor man management and wasteful transfer purchases.
It’s incredible to think that a man who’s spent £313.5million since arriving in Manchester can justify being 16 points behind the league leaders and getting knocked out of the UCL by Sevilla. Alas, José Mourinho will try to cover his flaws this summer the only way he knows how to, by spending more money. The latest transfer target Manchester United have in mind is Fabinho from AS Monaco.
Here’s what Fabinho will bring to Manchester United.
According to several reputable sources, powerful defensive midfielder Fabinho is set to become a Manchester United player in the summer. Amidst the exodus at the Stade Louis II last summer, somehow Leonardo Jardim was able to retain the services of Thomas Lemar and Fabinho. However, superstars like Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko all left for greener pastures, while Fabinho stayed loyal to his French employers.
It’s not as though the Brazilian didn’t have viable suitors; he just didn’t see it as the right time to move. A year later, the French champions are a shell of their former selves, 17 points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain. The 24-year-old would be naïve to think that Manchester United would come calling again after this summer, so he must grab this opportunity with both hands. They came last summer and failed, but they’re willing to chase Fabinho for just one more window.
After deciding to stay in Ligue 1, Fabinho has made 38 appearances this season, scoring 7 goals and assisting on 3 occasions. Alongside that productivity, Fabinho has maintained an 85.1% passing accuracy and averaged 3.3 tackles per game. It’s clear that the Brazilian is a complete player that can excel in most roles in midfield.
The 24-year-old would bring versatility, power, strength and defensive solidity to Old Trafford. Through his versatility, Fabinho has the ability to play at both defensive midfielder and right-back. With Matteo Darmian clearly not in Mourinho’s plans, a backup right-back is severely needed.
Regarding his physical attributes, Fabinho’s pace and power combined with his competent ball control allow him to travel with the ball at high speeds through the middle of the park. On the counter-attack, he would be a great asset and most probably do Paul Pogba’s job for him.
I’m sure what presents Fabinho as such an attractive package to José Mourinho is the 24-year-old’s positional awareness off the ball. Leonardo Jardim has trained the Brazilian to be defensively minded at all times, i.e. continually covering passing lanes and tracking runners. In a Mourinho team, such traits are imperative to be accepted by the manager.
At Manchester United, Fabinho could sit in a two with Paul Pogba or a more robust midfield three. Either way, he’d seamlessly fit into Manchester United’s starting XI.