Manchester United defender targeted by Ajax

Manchester United left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson could well be on the move this summer with a host of clubs interested in the 20-year-old. Leeds United were interested over the last month or so but nothing seems to have developed in their interest. Now it seems Ajax, the club United beat in the final of the UEFA Europa League in May hold an interested in the left-back. The Dutch side have sold defender Jairo Riedewald to Crystal Palace and need to replace him with a left-sided defender and Borthwick-Jackson could fit the bill for them. The United Academy graduate spent last season on loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers, returning to United in March after not playing for the club since November before the change in management.

Borthwick-Jackson ended the season playing for United U23 side and seems unlikely to be given the chance to cement his place in the position United need some strength in after Luke Shaw suffered  from a mixture of a lack of form and injury last season with Marcos Rojo, a player able to play in the position but better in a central role, also suffering from injury with Matteo Darmian switched from the right-back understudy role to Antonio Valencia over to the left-back area where he has impressed on occasion. At the end of last season, Demetri Mitchell was given the chance to show his worth at left-back against Crystal Palace in the final Premier League match of the season, proving his worth and earning a place in United’s pre-season tour squad.

The Daily Mail suggest Borthwick-Jackson is prepared to leave the Old Trafford club this summer, despite signing a new long-term contract just over a year ago. Leeds United, as aforementioned had shown interested in the player, along with Reading, managed by former United defender Jaap Stam where he could join former Academy teammate Tyler Blackett. Dutch sides Ajax, Heerenveen and PEC Zwolle also retain an interest in the English defender who was named Manchester United’s reserve team player of the year at the end of the 2015/16 season. Borthwick-Jackson suggested that Jose Mourinho has described him as a top player in an interview with football magazine FourFourTwo, saying:

“He’s always keeping eyes on me and he has people watching. When I first came into pre-season I got injured early on, and as I recovered he asked me how I was and things like that. When I came back he said: ‘the squad’s a bit too big but I see a future for you here’ and that I’m a ‘top player’. He told me to go out and get some experience.”

If only that loan spell with Wolves worked for Borthwick-Jackson last season. His last performance for the club came in Paul Lambert’s last game as the manager on the 5th November 2016. If he had been in the next manager’s plans, the 20-year-old could well be fighting it out with Luke Shaw to cement his place as the first choice left-back next season, which is a place Borthwick-Jackson could have strengthened after his rise from the U21’s into the first team during Louis van Gaal’s second and final season at the club. Perhaps Borthwick-Jackson may not offer what Mourinho wants in the left-back role, another line of attack. It is a shame but it would seem he will be onto pastures new ahead of the new season starting.

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