“Envisioning a Potent Partnership: Ten Hag’s Potential Lethal Duo for Man Utd with Underrated £26m Gem

“Envisioning a Potent Partnership: Ten Hag’s Potential Lethal Duo for Man Utd with Underrated £26m Gem

As Manchester United bolsters various sections of their squad, attention turns to fortifying their defensive ranks before the summer transfer window slams shut in a mere three weeks.

Despite securing the signings of Andre Onana, Mason Mount, and Rasmus Hojlund for Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag faces the potential departure of Harry Maguire to West Ham United, raising the question of whether a new center-back should top his priority list.

Alongside Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, the sought-after Jean-Clair Todibo of France emerges as a prime target for Ten Hag, compelling the Dutch manager to make a pivotal decision in the impending weeks.

A United Player in the Making?

This week, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg provided insight into United’s pursuit of Pavard, indicating: “Benjamin #Pavard: Concrete negotiations with @ManUtd at this level! A verbal agreement is now being worked on by all sides.”

With Pavard’s adept defensive skills, Ten Hag champions his acquisition, while FC Bayern seeks an August departure for the player.

An approximate fee of €30 million (£26 million) could likely sway Bayern to part with Pavard before the transfer window closes, given his apparent desire to exit the Bundesliga giants.

Positioning Pavard for Success

Pavard is indelibly etched in memory for his pivotal role in France’s World Cup triumph in Russia half a decade ago.

His breathtaking goal against Argentina, a tournament standout, altered the game’s course and culminated in a 4-3 victory.

Throughout the competition, Pavard predominantly operated as a right-back, mirroring his role in most of his appearances for the French national team. However, Ten Hag might deploy him differently at United, utilizing him as a center-back, a role he frequently occupied for his club side last season.

The 27-year-old has contributed to 28 goals throughout his club career. While he thrives on the right flank’s freedom to surge up and down, his performances in the heart of defense in 2022/23 were exceptional.

Pavard adeptly combined defensive prowess with a potent attacking threat, ranking in the top 10% for progressive passes, progressive carries, and touches in the attacking penalty area across major European leagues. Additionally, he stood within the top 6% for tackles per 90.

A Formidable Partnership

A potential transfer could see Pavard form a robust defensive partnership with Lisandro Martinez at the heart of United’s defense.

Martinez, an Argentinean, likewise boasts impressive defensive metrics, ranking among the top 6% for tackles per 90 and the top 5% for blocks per 90 within his positional peers. Such attributes could seamlessly complement Pavard’s strengths.

Having joined Ten Hag’s team last summer from Ajax, the 25-year-old Martinez garnered praise from club veteran Patrice Evra, who hailed him as “one of the best signings” in years at the Theatre of Dreams. Martinez’s performance at the core of the defense has been a revelation.

Should Pavard transition to the English league, Ten Hag might deploy this dynamic duo as his premier center-back pairing, capitalizing on their mutual cover and Pavard’s penchant for forward surges.

Even Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel lauded Pavard as “underrated.” Considering his performance trajectory since the previous season, the former Stuttgart player has evolved into a dependable center defender, poised to fortify Manchester United’s ranks at Old Trafford.”

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