What’s the word?
According to French outlet RMC Sport, the Red Devils may well be looking to hijack Chelsea‘s move for the 19-year-old sensation, with the Blues reportedly having had a bid rejected for the right-back.
The report suggests that United have ‘asked those around the player not to rush their choice’, seemingly insinuating that Ten Hag’s side are hopeful they can dissuade the youngster from moving to Stamford Bridge.
This follows a previous report from the Daily Mail which named the Old Trafford outfit – as well as top four rivals Newcastle United – as potential suitors for the France U21 international, with the player said to be valued at around £35m.
The need for a new addition on the right of the defence has come into further focus following Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s dismal display in the recent defeat to Arsenal, with the Englishman having been a real “weakness” for the visitors at the Emirates, as per journalist Tyrone Marshall.
The 25-year-old – who has replaced the stricken Diogo Dalot in the side in recent weeks – has started the last six Premier League games, although his shortcomings were laid bare against the Gunners, having been culpable for Eddie Nketiah’s opener.
The former Crystal Palace full-back was simply caught napping as the striker leapt high to nod home past a helpless David De Gea, having inexplicably failed to track his man nor attempt to attack the ball himself.
That loss of concentration has seemingly been a hallmark of the £50m addition’s game during his time at the Theatre of Dreams, with club legend Roy Keane stating post-match on Sunday: “I actually don’t think he’s a good defender.”
Such an underwhelming outing – in which he lost possession on nine occasions – has perhaps illustrated just why the £90k-per-week dud was deemed surplus to requirements prior to the start of the month, with it seemingly no surprise that Ten Hag is now eyeing a move for Gusto.
The latter man could well help to hasten Wan-Bissaka’s exit having thrived in Ligue 1 of late, with the teenager – who has been described as a “real talent” by journalist Bobby Vincent – offering far more of a threat in attack, as he ranks in the top 15% among his European peers for assists, while Wan-Bissaka ranks in just the bottom 9% in that regard.
While the current United man has been labelled “useless” on the ball in the past by club icon, Paul Scholes, Gusto, by contrast, has been lauded as “very dangerous” going forward, as per Vincent, showcasing their differing quality in the final third.
Equally, the Frenchman has also been lauded as being “very good at defending one-versus-one situations” by Vincent, while his average of 2.1 tackles and 1.5 interceptions from his 15 league games this season only slightly lower than that of Wan-Bissaka, who averages 2.3 and 1.6 for those same two metrics, albeit while having only made seven top-flight outings.
The fact he can almost match the Englishman with his ball-winning prowess as well as offer far more offensively should ensure that Gusto is the perfect upgrade as far as Ten Hag is concerned.