Manchester United finished the second full season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a runners-up position in the English Premier League as well as in Europa League. According to media reports, Manchester United are rumored to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United in the summer transfer window. The club is looking to strengthen their squad after the manager called for squad depth after the Europa League final loss.
According to reports, Manchester United and ole Gunnar Solskjaer have made four priority transfer targets which include Harry Kane, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice. According to reports from Evening Standard, Red Devils are set to use Jesse Lingard as a make-weight for the transfer. Jesse Lingard scored nine goals and laid five assists since his loan move to London. However, David Moyes is not willing to part his ways with the defensive midfielder who played a crucial role for the Hammers. In one of the recent press conferences he said:
I said it right at the start and I'm only repeating myself - Bank of England money would be required, and you might even need to add Bank of Scotland on to that as well because he has been so good
Few reports also suggests that West Ham United are expecting close to £100 million for their defensive midfielder. Though the player is of sheer quality, here are the three alternatives to Declan Rice for Manchester United to sign in the summer transfer window:
So who are the alternative options to Declan Rice?
Though Declan Rice is an aerially dominant player in the middle of the park, the player has a lot of shortcomings when it comes to his field attributes. Also, the player is not pacy compared to his compatriots and colleagues.
Despite standing tall at 1.85m, the English midfielder has the least number of blocks per 90. The Portuguese pivot player, Ruben Neves, Kalvin Phillips and Wilfried Ndidi have a better number compared to Rice. The Leicester City midfielder has blocked 2.73 shots per game in the English top-flight.
Though Declan Rice has a better number of Key-passes delivered per 90 in the English Premier League 2020/21 compared to the Nigerian international, Wilfried Ndidi, Ruben Neves outclasses Rice. Moreover, the Leeds United defensive midfielder, Kalvin Phillips stands at the top with 1.26 key passes per game. In a club like Manchester United, everyone needs to contribute across all parts of the game.
Fred and Scott McTominay were downplayed for their inability to cover up the opposition with pace and tackling skills. Fred had 2.07 tackles per 90 with a success rate of 62.53%. To cover Paul Pogba’s inability to tackle, Manchester United needs a player with a higher tackle rate as well as with a higher tackle percentage. Though Declan Rice has 1.66 tackles per 90 with a tackle success percentage of 68.87, Ruben Neves has 2.22 tackles per game with a success percentage of 73.26. Along with these stats, Ruben Neves is a better crosser of the ball as well.
If we compare the transfer price of the players, Ruben Neves and Wilfried Ndidi are available at 50 million (transfermarkt.com) with a statistical advantage over the West Ham United midfielder. Also, reducing the cost with a better alternative will help Manchester United to accomplish other transfer targets like Jules Kounde in the summer.