Tchouameni should be Ten Hag’s top summer target

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on appointing Erik Ten Hag as the next long-term manager of the club, and Tchouameni should be his top target to bring to Old Trafford this summer.

This could potentially be the start of a new era, where John Murtough will be looking to impress the owners within his role as the football director and Ralf Rangnick will be taking on a consultancy role at the end of the season, providing the much-needed advice to the board.

However, the next step that needs to be planned by the club is who should be the side’s top target for the summer window, as there are a few important areas that need addressing with great urgency, such as the centre-forward, defensive-midfield, right-wing and right-back positions.

A top-tier team would have these areas reviewed ahead of the transfer period, though, the Red Devils have shown over the years that they lack the actual ability to negotiate and complete deals smoothly. Due to this, the club have had to pay huge fees/wages when wanting the average player.

Nevertheless, the main position that needs immediate focus on is the midfield department, as the lack of quality and depth is not there for a team that is looking to compete for titles and trophies. The club should look no further than Aurelien Tchouameni, who is regarded as Monaco’s most important player as well as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1 this season, as his team are aiming to finish in the spots for European football with seven league games remaining of the season.

We look closely into the Frenchman, who is also linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid…

With Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba rumoured to leave the club at the end of the campaign, the side are expected to be left quite short in the middle of the pitch, with only four options available within a three-man midfield formation that Ten Hag will be looking to play at the theatre of dreams.

On top of that, United’s missing presence of a holding midfielder will continue to hurt them in the build-up play and when providing protection to the backline, as Fred and Scott McTominay do not have the technical composure or footballing intelligence to play within this position. 21-yer-old James Garner is having a progressive loan spell with Nottingham Forest, however, he will need a season or two at a lower team in the Premier League before he can claim a spot in United’s line-up.

When noting the ongoing issues in the midfield area, it makes absolute sense for the board to prioritise this department and ensure Tchouameni is the club’s top target for the summer, someone who has the capability of playing as a lone number six or part of a double pivot. The side need a destroyer, who can allow the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek to play higher up the pitch, which is something that the Monaco midfielder can do with ease, as he has completed the most interceptions (78) and fifth most tackles (73) when compared to the other Ligue 1 midfielders.

Tchouameni being known for his defensive contributions has made his technical composure and ball-playing ability pass by without receiving the credit it deserves, having the intelligence to play the perfect passes between the lines and diagonal balls over the top. In his third season at Monaco, second campaign as a regular starter in the team, he has shown great development in experience and maturity, leading to doing the basics at the top level and showing good decision-making skills.

Furthermore, Monaco have already accepted reality that he will be on the move at the end of the season, which makes it easier for United to begin the transfer fee talks and bonuses negotiations once Erik Ten Hag is announced as the new manager of the football club. And not only that, the 22-year-old Rouen-born star has previously admitted his desire to play within the Premier League, with his comments being backed by both the French and Spanish media over the last couple of months.

Overall, there has not been much of a breakthrough for generational players within the midfield section in recent years, though, Aurelien Tchouameni is the current individual to be part of this special bracket and is yet to be snapped up by one of the biggest teams in Europe. If Manchester United act quick and convince the Frenchman to sign for them instead of Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid, the club would have the defensive midfield position fixed for the next five to ten years.

Author: Tamara Kim