Jose Mourinho kicked off Manchester United’s transfer business for the summer with the capture of defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica. But it now seems the Red Devils are all-but-certain of signing Monaco midfielder Fabinho.
And with Michael Carrick coming towards the end of his career, here’s why we think the new kid on the block is a perfect replacement for the 35-year-old club legend…
Ideal blend of reliability and creativity
An impressive passer of the ball, he chalked up an 84% pass completion rate for Monaco last term. And the Brazilian is reliable when playing those neat, safe Carrick-style passes across the middle of the park, as well as having a knack for more ambitious long-range balls reminiscent of Paul Scholes.
And he also possesses a propensity to surge forward and score goals which is reminiscent of the latter, chalking up 12 goals (admittedly some of those were penalties), as well as six assists.
European displays show he’s ready for Prem
The usual questions aimed at new arrive arrival in English football – however skilled – is how quickly, and how well, they’ll adapt. But Fabinho has already brushed aside those concerns.
He shone in both of Monaco’s Champions League Group Stage victories over Tottenham earlier this term, and – along with Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe – helped the principality club knock out Manchester City, with the former Rio Ave man registering one goal and two assists against United’s local rivals.
Having looked so dominant against two of the Premier League’s top sides, you can only imagine the damage he’d be capable of against the likes of Watford or Huddersfield Town.
Martial reunion could benefit everyone
After a whirlwind first campaign at Old Trafford – including a debut goal against Liverpool – it’s fair to say things haven’t gone to plan for Anthony Martial in the past 12 months, as the striker netted just four Premier League goals in 25 outings.
However, the 21-year-old enjoyed arguably his best season yet in 2014-15, with some of his attacking service provided by a certain Fabinho, who flitted between right-back and midfield at that point.
Having a familiar face back at Old Trafford could well help Martial revive his form and confidence, and benefit the Brazil international by re-sparking a partnership which was at the heart of Monaco’s recent resurgence.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing