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Opinion Piece

Manchester United should have signed rival club’s 23-year-old defender

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Manchester City have signed Benfica defender Ruben Dias. 

Manchester City’s move for Ruben Dias is a part of their defensive rebuild this summer. The club have already signed Centre-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. They are also linked with Deigo Carlos, Jules Kounde, Kalidou Koulibaly and Jose Gimenez

City’s move for Dias should be troubling for Manchester United. United were previously linked to Dias and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to sign the defender. In this article, we will read why United needed a player like Dias.

Manchester United are having defensive problems of their own. But, instead of fixing their defense, the club prioritised a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

Ruben Dias belongs to a new breed of defenders who are taking over world football. The kind of defenders who are strong defensively and are very good with their feet. Milan Skriniar, Raphael Varane and Aymeric Laporte are prime examples of this. United should have had a piece of this cake too.

Victor Lindelof fell into the category as per his performances for Benfica but has struggled to find his feet in the Premier League.

Most modern-day ball-playing defenders often lack the basic defensive abilities, but Ruben Dias is certainly not among them. 

The 23-year-old Portuguese defender is very good with the ball at his feet but has also got a no-nonsense approach in his game. He does not get caught up while trying to do fancy things, has an aerial prowess.

Dias is aerially solid and has won 2.3 aerial duels every game this campaign. He has also averaged 1.3 tackles, 1 interception and 2.8 clearances every game.  Dias is also a goal threat from set-pieces, scoring 3 goals in the last campaign. [source- WhoScored]

These are the qualities missing from the Manchester United defence.

Club captain Harry Maguire is ever-present at the heart of United’s defence. But, he needs a reliable partner. Lindelof is not an able deputy. Eric Bailly’s injury record makes him unreliable.

With Chris Smalling on the verge of leaving the club, squad depth is another issue for the Reds.

Dias was available and despite previous links, United didn’t sign him.


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