It’s just early days of the January transfer market and Manchester United have already been linked with a few names and the latest to be added to the list is M’Baye Niang, the AC Milan striker that is having certain issues in his current team, regarding his performances.
It has been generally a good season for Niang as the striker has found a place in Montella’s starting XI being one of the key players at Milan. However, his latest performances and attitude have obligated AC Milan to look for other options in the transfer market as they are in the chase for Deulofeu, risking the French’s place in the team.
Italian newspaper Il Giornale in a review of the Serie A players that could return the league in its glory days states that Manchester United are interested in the player and they have already placed their first bid for the player. The 22-year-old is under contract with the Italian club until 2019 and the player, having his future targets clear, is looking forward to a contract extension but the Chinese who will be the new owners of the Italian club are hesitating as they are not convinced, especially after the latest problems Niang has had with fans.
Manchester United will have competition for his signing in the case that he is willing to move, as in November there were reports that his situation was being monitored by Arsenal and Everton, two clubs that have been constantly linked with the young striker since 2012. Having turned down a move to England back then, the player has always fancied playing in the Premier League in the right conditions. During this season, the player has expressed his desire to be AC Milan captain one day, making the rumours around a possible transfer a bit surprising.
However let’s have a look on his style of play, latest performances and especially his attitude. M’Baye Niang despite his young age has had plenty of game time in his feet thanks to his previous experience in France with Caen dragging the attention of several clubs, showing glimpses of the famous Milan player Andriy Shevchenko, a clinical finisher that had a great career during his time in Italy. However, this season he has been used more as a winger being a danger upfront adding pace in the wings. It’s important to state that only in the past two seasons Niang has been consistent on the football pitch as his controversial loan spells had created a lot of issues.
A player, that like Mario Balotelli adores to be the centre of attention even when it’s not needed. The point in here is obvious, his manners in the football pitch, something that relatively changed when Sinisa Mihajlovic arrived in San Siro. That far, it seemed like the player had been thrown, considered as not valuable for a team that had lost the brightness and no longer could compete with the Europe giants, something that irritated the youngster that himself is also surrounded by controversy. It was the Serbian that managed to get the best out of him, how? Key to Niang’s career has been the time you give him to go upfront, as he is fast and can easily get through the opponent in a quick way, making him a constant danger. Whether it’s the lineup or the player himself, passing and team play will always be an issue for him. It was last season and it is this season as well and that’s where the problems start.
It seemed that he would settle well but his inconsistent life ruined the season for him. In a chaotic situation, he seemed to be the bright spark but car accident ruled him for the rest of the season last year. Furious with him, the club was ready to sell him but Montella thought to give him one more chance. Unlike many, the Italian gave him the confidence Niang he needed and a bright season was looking ahead, but the fairy tale didn’t last long as he hasn’t found the net for eight games annoying the player, deriving to fights who will take the penalty first and other actions that would drag the attention for bad.
His actions are repetitive leaving us with the doubt why would United go for him. These type of players cannot be handled well and no matter how talented they are the talent will always be eclipsed by the bad behaviour. Jose has had another player in his tenure at Inter and couldn’t handle Balotelli well so another one would cause trouble around. With one bad boy set to leave, another might land at Old Trafford but differently, from Memphis Depay, Niang does perform and at least tries.
He is a great talent that can solve games, but the main worry is his manner. It’s up to him to change and it doesn’t matter if he remains a Milan player or transfers at United but the main point is for him to perform and not waste time. This being said, his transfer seems risky but in case that the player is willing to change, competition is never a bad thing at United, but Niang needs to clear things with himself first.