According to reports, Manchester United are keen on signing Celtic youngster Moussa Dembele in the coming January transfer window. The former Paris Saint-Germain and Fulham youth player has already scored seven goals for Brendan Rodger’s side in just 11 appearances this season. The report also suggests that Jose Mourinho, who had already scouted him thrice last campaign, sent some scouts to watch him play against the England U21’s where he triumphed the France U21’s to a 3-2 victory. According to the Daily Mail, Mourinho considers Dembele’s style of play similar to that of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. It is rather obvious, however, that Dembele will not be joining Manchester United only six months after joining his current team. According to Sportsmail, Celtic are not willing to sell the player only months after purchasing him for just £500,000.
While the Frenchman is, without a doubt, one of the best young prospects of the year, in my opinion, going after the forward is of no use for the time being. Manchester United have a youth academy graduate, Marcus Rashford, the current Golden Boy holder Anthony Martial, an experienced never-aging Zlatan Ibrahimovic and soon to be the highest club goal scorer, Wayne Rooney offering diverse options in the final third. Despite scoring 28 goals in 18 competitive games this season, United have lacked the finesse in the final third in crucial situations. However, investing on a young French teenage striker yet again, will not solve this issue. The problem arises in defence, not up front. Also, if Moussa Dembele is recruited in the winter transfer window, United will have three prospects in Dembele, Rashford and Martial along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, only increasing the selection headache for Mourinho despite the betterment in squad depth.
That being said, if Mourinho does have plans involving Moussa Dembele, the best time to buy him would be the summer transfer window instead of January. Recruiting the forward midway through the season will only unsettle players like Memphis Depay, who already get less playing time. Even though recruiting him in the summer would mean that his value would increase by the time, however, with Zlatan signing just a year’s deal and Wayne Rooney looking like a shadow of his past self, it may well be necessary.
On the contrary, one reason Mourinho should not consume his time and energy on scouting the 19-year-old is simple: he is not good enough. In my personal opinion, both, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are better than Moussa Dembele at almost all of the aspects of being an out-and-out striker. Rashford and Martial are better at finishing, dribbling, have greater acceleration an improving positioning, and versatility. The only aspect Dembele is better than both of them at is heading the ball at goal. The fact that Moussa Dembele couldn’t cut it in the Paris Saint-Germain U19 team also speaks volumes. After joining Fulham in 2013, it took a while for him to get into the first team and eventually got a starting place only when the team was playing in the championship. In spite of all that, the youngster could only score 15 league goals in 56 Appearances.
With Martial and Rashford already offering what Dembele could, purchasing the Celtic star would not be the wisest of decisions when United need a few recruits in defence. However, if Zlatan decides to not extend his contract at the end of the season, Dembele could be one of the many options to buy in the summer transfer window of 2017.