Manchester United need to get over the defensive weaknesses they have at this moment in time. Jose Mourinho’s side have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Daley Blind as the experienced members of the team, but with Jones and Smalling out of action, again, it leave Mourinho with only three experienced players, which shows the full extent of the defensive weakness – both Smalling and Jones. Both of the English central defenders are left from the Sir Alex Ferguson era, both of whom have suffered many injuries, keeping them out of action for long periods of time. Smalling is a player who excelled last season, but this season, he has been poor. Jones might have a future at United if injuries can be avoided, which was what seemed to be the case this
Jones might have a future at United if injuries can be avoided, which was what seemed to be the case this season until Smalling injured in during an England training session. Seemingly with one player likely to head out of the door this summer (Smalling), he will need to be replaced in order to keep United fully stocked with central defenders. You may wonder why Axel Tuanzebe is not mentioned? He needs time to get into the swing of things, and probably will find more chances coming in the new season.
What has been reported on Gimenez leaving the Vicente Calderon?
United have been linked to many central defenders with January looking likely to see Victor Lindelof in the famous red shirt at Old Trafford, but nothing materialised there, with the player signing an extended contract with Benfica, suggesting that he will remain at the Portuguese club, even during the summer. One player who might be one Jose Mourinho is looking at is Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid. The 22-year-old has been benched at the Spanish club this season with Diego Godin and Stefan Savic the preferred centre-back pairing, leaving the Uruguayan with a big decision to make; fight for his place, or find a club that will see him get more playing time. Gimenez has been linked to United by Don Balon and The Sun, two of the most unreliable sources out there, but looking at the player and his circumstances, there might just be something to the reports.
Gimenez has a hefty £38 million price attached to him. When you consider Eric Bailly cost United £30 million last summer, it could well be a price that United or other suitors Liverpool will have to pay to get their man, but there may be a possibility of a lower fee being agreed, especially after Atletico do want to sell the player and either promote from within, or shop about for a replacement. This season, Gimenez has made 23 appearances for Atletico, scoring one goal and being booked six times. In La Liga alone, The Uruguayan has made 13 appearances and his stats may suggest he could be a player Mourinho could help perfect. His passing success stands at 75%, averaging at five defensive actions per match, making one defensive error this season and also averages a 63% success rate dueling with other players. Gimenez is a player who has been linked to United before, which could be a suggestion as to the authenticity of the reports.
How does Gimenez play and could he fit in at Manchester United?
Jose Gimenez was rejected by the director of Penarol, the most successful Uruguayan team, whilst playing for Danubio, Gimenez seems to have risen through the ranks at Atletico after his £630,000 transfer, finding his feet at both club and international level. Gimenez holds the ‘win at all costs’ attitude, which is something that United could do with, having that in Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as Sir Alex Ferguson retired from the game, seemingly losing that with it not being replaced, until Eric Bailly came to the club and Jose Mourinho got his hands on United’s current crop of defenders. Gimenez is a mature player for his age, which is good to see. Gimenez combines his power, pace, and positioning, he is dynamic, forceful and utilises his intelligence in the game. Those attributes are things that United will need, especially in the fact that both Smalling and Jones seem to get injured so easily. Mourinho will be looking for a defence which can help him win titles with Manchester United, it is clear his current crop of defenders may not do that for him, well some could, but strength in numbers would be so much better, especially in having players who could be rotated, keeping the same formation and style of play, giving United strength in numbers and the ability to continue to dominate, despite fatigue with other players.
How much could Gimenez cost Manchester United?
As the reports suggest, £38 million would be the figure to pry Gimenez away from Atletico Madrid, but a deal could be made. Keeping in mind that Bailly cost United £30 million during the summer of 2016, a similar fee could be agreed. It is certainly not a fee that many clubs would happily pay for a player not currently picked for the starting XI the majority of the time, but in terms of experience, ability, and playability, £30 million plus would be a decent fee to pay for a player who is just 22 years of age with all to play for during his career. When you also look at Phil Jones, who recently turned 25, cost United more than £16 million nearly six years ago, it would be a fee that is comparable in today’s money.
What is the likelihood of the transfer being completed?
At this moment in time, rumours are just that, rumours. There is nothing solid to state that Manchester United are actually interested in Gimenez once again. I don’t think the club will confirm anything either, which is why rumours seem to develop legs, then in the weeks and months, after the rumours first appeared, you see more, which seems to have developed from the initial rumour. Before you know it, the player has either signed a new contract at his club or has gone elsewhere, which will automatically mean that Manchester United were then beaten to the players signature, even if the club were never interested in him. That seems to be the extent of journalism today.