Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has urged the club to sign a centre-back similar to Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk.
Ex-Manchester United star Darren Fletcher has insisted in an interview with BBC that his former club needs a defender who can have a similar impact at Old Trafford as Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has had at Anfield.
Manchester United have had a torrid start to the 2018-19 campaign and find themselves sitting sixth in the Premier League standings after 16 matches, a whopping 18 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and 16 points behind second-placed Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho’s side have been found wanting in defence on a number of occasions this term. So far in the Premier League, the Red Devils have shipped in 26 goals already, which is the worst defensive record in the upper half of the table.
Manchester United had been in search of a new central defender all summer, but weren’t able to bring in a new face into the team. They are, however, expected to add a new centre-half to their contingent in the January window, with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly emerging as a serious transfer target for the 20-time English champions.
And former Manchester United midfielder Fletcher has advised the club to bring in a defender of the same class as Van Dijk, if they are to solve their defensive crisis.
“There is no doubt that some of these Manchester United defenders are capable but they need that figurehead, that leader who could guide them. A top class centre-half like Virgil van Dijk has accelerated the progress of players at Liverpool. When he’s not there they look questionable and that’s the difference that one top centre-half can have.”
Van Dijk arrived at Liverpool from Southampton in the January transfer window this year in a deal worth £75 million and has made a huge difference at the club since his arrival. The Dutch international has featured 44 times for the Reds till date, scoring once and setting up two more and has established himself as one of the top defenders across Europe.
Liverpool possess the best defensive record in the ongoing Premier League campaign, having let in just six goals in 16 games and van Dijk has been at the forefront of their defensive discipline and organization. With the big game between Liverpool and Manchester United coming up on Sunday, the Dutchman will have a huge say on the outcome of the game.
There is no question that Manchester United are in need of defensive reinforcements. And while they have been linked with names varying from Toby Alderweireld to Brazilian centre-back Pablo, it remains to be seen if they will be able to bring in a new defender in January, and if the player can have a similar impact as van Dijk did at Liverpool.