The top 3 targets for Manchester United to replace Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba has admitted that he wants a new challenge, putting his Manchester United future in serious doubt, as a possible move to either Juventus or Real Madrid edges near.
The Frenchman had a distinct up and down season with the club last season, from publicly falling out with then Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, to being the club's top scorer in the season with 16 goals in all competitions, whilst also providing 10 assists. This caused him to label this his "best season" in recent years.
Due to him leaving, Manchester United have to find a way to replace him properly, with him being such a crucial part of the squad, and three notable targets were identified.
1. Bruno Fernandes - Sporting Lisbon
The Portuguese international has had a magnificent season with Sporting Lisbon and with Portugal, scoring a massive 28 goals goals and providing 14 assists for Sporting in all competitions, whilst also being part of the Portuguese squad that won the first ever UEFA Nations League.
The creative midfielder has led Sporting well, and has been linked with United for several weeks now, with him impressing consistently for Sporting. He has managed to average a match rating of 7.83 in Liga NOS this season, which is even better than Pogba, who managed 7.31 in the Premier League.
Whilst Pogba has a much better pass success percentage than Bruno Fernandes, the Portuguese midfielder has managed a better rate of key passes in games, with 3.2 key passes every game in Liga NOS, whilst Pogba has managed just 1.6 in the Premier League.
Fernandes would not come cheap, as he is currently being valued at around £65 million, but with the funds that United would get from selling Pogba, he would definitely be worth the investment.
2. Youri Tielemans - AS Monaco (loaned to Leicester City in January 2019)
The Belgian has been highly rated right from his teenage days, and has impressed over the years, but in his loan at Leicester City he established himself as a very influential creative midfielder, and has caught the eye of several clubs, most notably Manchester United and Leicester City themselves.
The Belgian managed three goals and four assists in just 13 Premier League matches, getting an average match rating of 7.14.
Tielemans would definitely be a risky move, as he would have big shoes to fill at United, but in his short stint in the Premier League he managed to impress, in a Leicester team that was brought back to life by Brendan Rodgers. Tielemans managed a pass success rate of 85%, which is impressive compared to Pogba' 82.8% in the Premier League.
The Belgian would cost United around £45 million, as his parent club, AS Monaco, would not want to let go of him for cheap, especially considering they are in a tough position in the league.
3. Donny van de Beek - Ajax
The Dutch midfielder has had a wonderful season with Ajax, as he helped the club to a domestic double, winning the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup, as well as finishing in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
He has produced some stunning performances in Europe, and has most notably gained fame for scoring crucial goals, with him getting an outstanding tally of 16 goals and 12 assists in 49 appearances in all competitions, out of which he has only started 42.
Van de Beek has impressed in a midfield trio with Frenkie de Jong and Lasse Schone, and considering that United have played most of last season with a midfielder trio as well, he would slot in perfectly in Pogba's place. To make things even better, van de Beek has a much better work-rate than Pogba, with the Dutchman averaging 1.5 tackles and 0.8 interceptions every league game, whilst the Frenchman managed just 1.3 tackles and 0.5 interceptions.
The Dutchman would not be an extremely expensive signing, as he is being valued at around £30 million, yet he would be an extremely risky signing, with this practically being his breakthrough season in European football. However, with there being plenty of big-name players being transferred out at Ajax, he could definitely be one that goes under the radar.
To make matters even better, he had spoken of his desire to move to Manchester United before.