Carlos Soler banging on the door at Old Trafford as he wishes to leave Valencia?


Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler has reportedly begged his club to let him leave for Manchester United in January. During the summer, Soler was linked to the Old Trafford club with Jose Mourinho seemingly interested in the Spaniard. At the time of the initial interest, Soler was available for €8 million at the time, which was in the form of a release clause. At the end of last season, after the player had played a number of first team matches, that release clause reached €30 million.

The latest reports suggest £45 million, which is a pretty good fee for a player of Soler’s calibre, especially in the current market which is heavily inflated because of teams like Manchester City and Paris Saint-German having the funds to spend millions on players. United and Mourinho have apparently sounded out the 20-year-old Spaniard about a move to the Theatre of Dreams with the Portuguese manager seeking more creativity from his midfield, especially after Paul Pogba spent the last two months out of action due to injury – it would seem Soler could be the player to offer that.

Soler has played almost every match for Valencia this season, sitting on the bench against Espanyol on Sunday, and he has been outstanding for them – which seems to have raised the clubs confidence which in turn has lifted them to second in La Liga table, seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona, but more importantly three points clear of both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with a game in hand, played today, which if they win could see the club six points above the Madrid clubs. Soler’s form has seen some of Europe’s biggest clubs turn their attention to the player.

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This attention has seen Valencia put a £75 million price tag on the player but with the clubs current financial difficulties, a deal would be reached for the player. Manchester United are reported to value Soler around the £40 million mark, which is shy of the £75 million price on the player. Soler, according to The Sun, has ‘demanded Valencia thrash out a deal’ with United with the payer interested in a move once the January transfer window opens, which is not normally a window United bring in many new signings.

Valencia may be interested in a deal as they currently have Andreas Pereira on loan with the club and at the end of the day, the player will have lost a lot of respect from the manager after he forced his way out of the club in the summer, which was something Mourinho did not want to happen. If Pereira had stayed, he would have needed to fight for his position at the club but could have been utilised when Pogba and Marouane Fellaini were injured, which could have earned him a more permanent role. Leaving on loan suggests he does not have what it takes to fight for a position.

Pereira is a talented lad but these things do not go unnoticed by many which in turn could see his future at the club effectively ignored with other players getting themselves ahead of him in the pecking order, Scott McTominay one of the players who has done so on this occasion. Pereira, should Valencia be happy with him so far this season, could be used as a sweetener for the Soler deal which will give United a player they crave a little more than Pereira. Valencia reportedly retain some interest in Fellaini also, who will be a free agent in the summer if he is not afforded a new contract.

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What type of player is Carlos Soler?

Many will ask what sort of player Soler is. He is a midfielder who can play a number of positions whether that be in a deeper role, an advanced role or somewhere in between – it does not seem to matter to him. The Spaniard is quick and direct and is seen roaming around the midfield waiting for a pass which will see him advance with the ball. Soler is not afraid to get into the faces of his opposition and will attempt to get through the defence – whether it be for him to shoot or set up a teammate with a key pass or an opportunity to score. He’s not Paul Pogba, but a great talent to have.

Soler prefers an attacking midfielder role, which will work in a number of formations. Mourinho has tried many different formations since becoming United manager, seemingly preferring a three at the back formation, which with Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic now both in contention, a 3-5-2 formation may benefit United with two strikers, three defenders, two wing-backs and three midfielders, one of which could be Soler, which would see creativity, energy and strength added to the midfield – a midfield three is something Pogba prefers too.

Soler is a player who is tactically aware and always has the knack of getting into those dangerous positions. Despite this, Soler is not a player who will neglect areas, which sees him drop deep to seek possession of the ball. When he has the ball, Soler is the type of player who can provide passes to the wide players or even bring a counter-attack forward, which would be beneficial to both Lukaku and Ibrahimovic, not to mention Pogba, Anthony Martial or even Marcus Rashford, depending on who is playing in the wide roles or as the attacking players.

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Strengths and weaknesses are part and parcel for everyone, here are Carlos Soler’s

One of Soler’s strengths is his pace and he has bags of it. This is perfect for a player to be the transition between the defence and the attack, which is what the midfield is meant to do, some more than others at least. Soler can also be that driving force between the midfield and the attack, using his tactical awareness to get into dangerous positions, helping out the forward players or even going for goal himself. Soler is around six feet tall and is of slender build, but looks can be deceptive and despite his build, Soler has bags of strength too. His awareness of the game is a strength

His awareness of the game is a strength which allows him to change the tempo of the game, something which United could benefit from in the coming years, especially after Michael Carrick has hung up his boots. Soler has the ability to spark a counter-attack, which is beneficial in this game. His ability to be flexible is another strength, seemingly preferring an attacking midfield role but being flexible which has seen him play as a deep-lying playmaker, even as a wide player, which would be good to have.

In terms of weaknesses, Soler’s age will play a part. At 20, 21 on the 2nd January 2018, he has a lot to learn about the game and by no means knows it all. His ability to attack is great, but defending is a problem, which would mean he would need to be bailed out, should he be caught in a deep-lying role with the ball. United have the quality in defence to nullify this and many attacking players will be in the same boat in terms of defending. His decision-making, especially from dead ball situations will need some improvement.

Obviously, with age comes experience, and playing in a tougher league will bring bags of that. If Jose Mourinho and his team of scouts have seen something they like about Soler, and the interest is solid, then he should be afforded the chance to show the Premier League what he can do. Soler has not played in any European competitions this season, so will not be cup-tied in the UEFA Champions League, which will be a plus point if his transfer goes through. He will also be free to play in the Emirates FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, if United are still in both if/when he signs.

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