Manchester United boasts a significant amount of young attacking talents, but the Red Devils are reportedly stepping up their chase for Ajax’s young starlet Kasper Dolberg, who caught the eye during Ajax’s 3-2 win over Celta Vigo in the Europa League. The 19-year-old scored the opening goal for Ajax to add to his five goals in his first ten Eredivisie appearances. The numbers have drawn comparisons between him and former Ajax starlet Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has lived an incredible football career before turning up at Old Trafford aged 34 and with experience to offer.
According to reports, though, United wants to bring Dolberg to Old Trafford very soon, but the given reports from The Sun are very vague, not giving any information about United’s contact with the forward at all. That being said, this story is hardly far-fetched considering United’s recent moves to bring Anthony Martial and Memphis to the club from slightly lower-tier European leagues.
I myself have watched a limited amount of Dolberg, and probably not enough to make a full judgement about him, but I was impressed with his movement and ability to find himself in the right positions. His timed run and composed finish against Celta Vigo is one of the key traits needed to be a world class striker, and everyone who I’ve spoken to believes Dolberg has the potential to be exactly that. He seems to be one of Ajax’s star performers at just 19, and everyone knows that the Dutch outfit produces gems of youth players the way Barcelona and United do.
His statistics send the same message, too. Over his 19 appearances in all competitions this season, Dolberg has established himself as a threat, scoring in all the competitions in which he has played, and averaging 2.5 shots per game, 1.5 dribbles and being fouled 1.9 times every 90 minutes. Those are impressive numbers for a player who will only improve.
All the praise being said, though, I don’t think Dolberg is the right target for United. While he is supposedly able to play on the right side of attack, he is right-footed, and doesn’t seem like an inverted winger from that side, and defensive contribution is noted as a weakness for him (not something Jose Mourinho would want to find out). United has every type of young attacker (at a very high level) in the first team fringes with the exception of a good right-winger, and as Adnan Januzaj’s growth seems stagnant, that seems the area in which United would most likely make signings. This explains links to Gabriel Barbosa, who moved to Inter Milan in the summer, but United wasn’t interested and I wasn’t impressed with him in comparison to City’s new Brazilian, Gabriel Jesus.
If United is to invest in the attack, it should undoubtedly be for a right-winger who can either become one of the best players in the league or a player who is already up there. The exception, of course, is a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic eventually, most likely Antoine Griezmann. That being said, with Vincent Janssen moving to Tottenham of late and the number of Dutch imports in the Premier League steadily growing, it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on a player who seems to be quite the talent.