Menu

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Manchester United seeking deal with Valencia for 20-year-old midfielder

Manchester United are seeking a deal with Spanish side Valencia for midfield star Carlos Soler. The 20-year-old was linked with the Old Trafford club in the summer and at that time it was suggested he could be the long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, who signed a new one-year deal last summer and will be expected to hang up his boots at the end of the current season. Carrick has spent much of the current season on the sidelines through injury with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini absentees too, leaving just Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera as the experienced midfielders.

United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly looking to add dynamism to his ‘engine room’ and Soler is a player that would offer just that. The Spain U21’s star has had an impressive career to date, which is why the Portuguese manager has seemingly made a swift move for the player, at least according to reports. At times this season and last, United played in a 4-3-3 formation with a three-man midfield. That is the favoured formation of Pogba, who United have missed over the past month or so with him being out of action. Soler, should a move actually happen, could be the player United have been seeking to convert to that formation.

Soler has been scouted by United for some time now and at a stage last season, he was available for €8 million, the release clause set for him at the time. That release clause had risen to €30 million as he had played in more first team matches, but so far this season, his current release clause is suggested to be £75 million, a similar fee to that of Romelu Lukaku, who made the move from Everton to United last summer. If Soler is going to be that player, it is safe to say his club value him highly.

Soler has been a regular starter for Valencia four about two years now, making the step up from Valencia’s reserve side – he had been a Valencia player since he was seven years old. The player had recently spoken about his release clause, not mentioning the exact number, but suggesting he had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Soler said:

“That’s something that’s done by the club, by agents.

“When I go out on the pitch to play, I’m not thinking: ‘wow, I’ve got a really high buy-out clause and I’ve got a lot of responsibility on my shoulders.'”

Soler has played nine matches for Valencia this season, all in La Liga. He has scored one goal, which was against Real Madrid in the 2-2 draw between the two sides on the 27th August 2017. Based on his individual statistics for Valencia in La Liga, Soler would be a player who could form a great midfield trio with Pogba and Matic. He has averaged an 84% pass success, with an average of 17 metres per pass, also creating 15 chances for his teammates, four of those becoming assists. Soler has a 67% shot accuracy, having 15 shots, eight of them on target. He has also averaged at least one defensive action per league match, which demonstrates his ability to be in the area where play currently is.

Soler, if United’s interest is solid, which could well be based on the time the Old Trafford club have been scouting him, but that said, they have spent time scouting many other players over the years, many not actually seeing solid interest coming from the club. The fee could be something which may deter United from signing the player, but if you look at the summer, for instance, when Inter Milan learned of United’s apparent interest in Ivan Perisic, they demanded such a high fee for the player so that said, other targets could end up costing United similar fees. It would all depend on whether Valencia would be prepared to make a deal rather than going down the release clause route.

Manchester United scouting Carlos Soler, an option to replace Michael Carrick?

Carlos Soler Barragán may not be a name many have seen linked with Manchester United, probably because he is a player that made his debut for Valencia earlier this season and was brought to the attention of the United scouting team, reportedly impressing at stages this season. Soler turned 20 on the 2nd January 2017, so has a big career ahead of him. Many will wonder why a player so young has attracted the attention of Jose Mourinho’s team; there will be two reasons for this. Soler has had a good season, seemingly being Valencia’s shining light. The other is that Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes has apparently alerted the Portuguese manager of the player and his potential. This season, Soler has made 22 appearances for his club in La Liga and the Copa Del Ray, four of those from the bench, scoring three goals, all in La Liga. In total, at this stage of the season, Soler has played 1,534 minutes, also having an assist to his name. His discipline is not all that bad, having been booked four times, also being sent off on one occasion.

What is being reported and by who?

The Daily Star reported that Soler was being scouted and chased by Mourinho’s side earlier in the week. Whilst they may not be the most reliable of sources, The Express also picked up on the report, not the most reliable of sources either. Earlier this year, Soler was linked to United as he had a release clause of only  €8 million in his contract, but that would rise to €30 million if he played another eight league matches, which he has since done. €30 million for a 20-year-old does not represent a bad deal in this day and age, considering the player has been performing well for his club and has impressed United’s scouting team on a few occasions. This season, United have seen midfielders drop like flies with only Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick fit for the match against Swansea City at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger left the club in January and March respectively, leaving United with a more manageable midfield, which has been plagued by injury and suspension with Marouane Fellaini sitting out the next three league matches after being sent off during the Manchester derby for a headbutt on Sergio Aguero.

What type of player is Carlos Soler?

Carlos Soler is a versatile player. During his Academy days, he’s been at Valencia since he was seven years old, he was played as a striker, scoring over 500 goals and more than 100 assists. He was then moved up to eleven-a-side, where he was placed in the defensive midfield role, a role he excelled at and showed how versatile he was. Soler has a pinpoint final ball and the instinct to score a goal. This season Soler has three goals to his name, plus an assist, which may not be great figures, but with him playing predominantly in the defensive midfield role, those figures do not seem too bad. Soler has played 20 times in La Liga this season, scoring three goals. He has a 54% shot accuracy, which is not all that bad either, creating 13 chances for his teammates. Soler has an 85% pass success rate, averages two defensive actions per match and has won nearly half (48%) of his duels this season. Could Soler replace Michael Carrick in the Manchester United squad next season? Maybe. Not like for like, but his presence in that position may be something United have seen in him, continuing to scout him throughout the season.

Likelihood of the transfer?

Manchester United will be linked to many players during the course of the remainder of the season and the summer. Whilst there are previous links to the player, the sources are not the best and seem to be an area for click bait, rather than cutting edge journalism. Soler would represent a good deal for United, providing he fit into the team and continue his development on the highest stage. Valencia seems to want to tie him to a new deal, with his current one ending in the summer of 2018, meaning this rumour may come back the longer the player avoids a new contract with Valencia needing to sell the player in order to get a considerable fee for him. Don’t be too surprised if the player stays put in Spain this summer, or maybe signing for another team. Speculation seems rife at this moment in time and newspapers will continue to link players to United as they know the club neither confirm or deny rumours and supporters will always want to read transfer stories on players the media ‘think’ will be joining the club. Over the years, if United signed all the players the media were linking them with, they would have a massive squad and an ever bigger wage bill.

copyright: JW