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Manchester United to battle Chelsea and Spurs for PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa – reports

Manchester United have been credited with an interest in Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa, according to reports in France. RMC, carried by The Sun in the United Kingdom have reported that Jose Mourinho’s United will battle with both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to land the left-back this summer. The position is one that Mourinho has stated his desire to strengthen this summer with Ashley Young pipping Luke Shaw as the lead runner in the role and he is 32.

United have utilised Young, Shaw, Blind, Rojo, and Darmian in the position this season, only Young and Shaw featuring the most, Young being the chosen player to occupy the position. The 32-year-old has put in some good performance in the role this season, one against Liverpool in which he nullified leading Premier League scorer Mohamed Salah out of the game. Shaw has been criticised for not thinking with his head and perhaps not being as defensive as he would need to be.

Kurzawa, 25, helped his side win Ligue 1 at the weekend, wrestling the title from AS Monaco, beating them 7-1 – his ninth major honour with the Parisien club. The Frenchman has found out that he has competition in the role he has at the French champions with Yuri Berchiche challenging him in the role. Kurzawa has played a total of 2,247 minutes this season in four competitions, with Berchiche playing 2,164 minutes of action – both in the same position. To me, it suggests healthy competition with both playing a similar number of minutes.

Kurzawa has a contract at the Parc des Princes which will run until the summer of 2020 and PSG will be seeking the £20 million paid for the player when he moved from AS Monaco just three years ago. If the fee is correct, it demonstrates a good deal for United, if Mourinho sees him as the player to succeed in the left-back role at the Theatre of Dreams. The 25-year-old has demonstrated a desire to play in the Premier League, which means nothing as many do, also stating that he can become a much better player. Kurzawa said:

“I know what I can do, and don’t think I have performed to the best of my ability this season.  It is a problem for me. I have never been satisfied with my displays this year, and I have felt annoyed when I have gone home after games.”

Kurzawa is expected to be a part of the France squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer and has experience playing for his country at youth level, winning honours before his senior debut in 2014. Mourinho has been reported to be in the market for a right-back, a central defender, at least one midfielder this summer, but after seemingly losing faith in Luke Shaw, a left-back seems to be high on the agenda too.

Kurzawa has made 26 appearances for his club this season, making 17 starts and one substitute appearance in Ligue 1, scoring two goals and one assist – playing 1,527 minutes for the French champions, six appearances in the UEFA Champions League, all starts, scoring three goals and two assists – playing 540 minutes in the competition, also playing 90 minutes in the Coupe de France, another 90 minutes in the Trophée des Champions. The 25-year-old, challenged by Berchiche in the left-back role this season, has played 2,247 minutes of action.

Kurzawa has many strengths, which include his passing of the ball, dribbling, ability to distinguish key passes, his crossing of the ball and his ability to hold on to the ball. His main weakness is his tackling ability, but there will be players in the squad who can get stuck in to that area for him. Just having a player with a good cross, ability to hold the ball and put in key passes from this role would be great. Kurzawa’s style of play revolves around him playing short passes, his ability to dribble and not jump into tackles.

Defensively, in the matches statistics are able to cover (Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League), Kurzawa averages 2.1 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.8 clearances and 0.2 blocks per match. In an attacking sense, the 25-year-old averages 0.9 shots, 0.5 key passes, and 0.8 dribbles per match, also being fouled an average of 1.5 times, rarely being called offside, and being dispossessed an average of 0.8 times per match. Kurzawa’s passing stand at 87%, which is something United would benefit from. Based on stats, he could be a decent left-back for United.

It remains to be seen as to whether Mourinho is interested in the Frenchman this summer. There have been many left-backs who have already been linked to the club. Reports from the media are never solid interest in a player, but more of a suggestion that the player has been watched. Journalists will have sources, sometimes the information may be correct at a certain point, but a move for the player may never happen. United looking at different players and cross-referencing the results with other scouted players, along with the manager’s wishes may see the actual target change.

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