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All you need to know about the player Man United could sign ahead of Pogba

first_imgFootball statistics experts WhoScored.com assess the merits of Manchester United making a move for Monaco defender Fabinho. Read all about it, below, then check out WhoScored’s Man United stats page.Much of Manchester United’s summer dealings have been dominated by the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A world record deal to re-sign Paul Pogba is now the priority but their business doesn’t look set to finish there. Eric Bailly joined as Jose Mourinho’s first signing as United manager and it could be another defender that concludes their business before the new season starts next month.Understandably lost in the media coverage of United’s pursuit of Pogba, Mourinho’s side are also reportedly plotting a £25m move for Monaco’s versatile right-back Fabinho. Despite boasting the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League last season (35 goals conceded), their defence has been a cause for concern. Bailly’s arrival has seemingly put an end to Daley Blind’s spell at centre-back, while signing Fabinho would mark United’s latest attempt at resolving an issue they’ve had at right-back since Gary Neville retired in 2011. Matteo Darmian was last season’s solution but his own future is up in the air following an unconvincing debut campaign, while Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones are simply not right-backs. Instead, Mourinho has reportedly earmarked Fabinho as a potential target to complete what has already been a sensational window for the Red Devils. Given the type of defenders Mourinho has gravitated towards during his career, it is no surprise that at 6ft 2in, Fabinho has caught the eye of the United manager. Mourinho would have also caught glimpses of Fabinho during the 12 months he spent on loan with the Madrid Castilla squad in the 2012/13 campaign during Mourinho’s final year as Madrid manager. Fabinho even earned his only appearance for the senior team in one of Mourinho’s final games in charge, registering an assist in a 14-minute cameo during Madrid’s 6-2 win over Malaga.The European champions opted against keeping the then teenager before Claudio Ranieri’s Monaco swooped. The 22-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength ever since. No current Monaco player has secured a higher WhoScored.com rating over the last two Ligue 1 campaigns than Fabinho (7.4). With age and experience, Fabinho’s all-round performances have significantly improved. Fabinho has always presented a threat going forward but his end-product in the final third was often found wanting in his first two years at Monaco. The fact he failed to register a single assist in the league during that time would suggest the criticism was well placed. However, last season Fabinho played a direct hand in 10 league goals (six goals, four assists), with half of those coming in his 18 appearances at right-back.Getting forward and supporting attacks also means that Fabinho attracts fouls. Only Bernando Silva (77) was fouled more times for Monaco in the league last season and Fabinho’s physical prowess would also add another dimension to United’s attack. With Chris Smalling the only player that offered any serious aerial threat, only Stoke (6) scored fewer goals from set-pieces than United (7) in the Premier League last season. It’s an area where United need to significantly improve and something Fabinho could contribute towards.While Fabinho’s blistering runs forward may be one of his most eye-catching qualities, the Brazil international is extremely diligent in his duties at the back. He has completed more tackles and interceptions combined than any other Monaco player in the last three years (483), accentuating his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strengths of ‘tackling’ and ‘concentration’. Not only that but he has also won possession more times in the defensive third than any other teammate (282).There is also another common denominator between Mourinho and Fabinho in that both are represented by Jorge Mendes, an agent United are already very much in bed with. United are yet to do business with Mendes this summer, but that could all be about to change. 1 Fabinho in action for Monaco against Crystal Palace last_img read more

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