Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should ponder signing Dayot Upamecano and Joao Felix after RB Leipzig’s Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid on Thursday night. The German side booked their place in the last four of the competition with a narrow 2-1 victory, with Tyler Adams the hero at the death. And it means they’ll be in the semi-finals for the first time in their short history, having only been formed in 2009.
RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid met in the Champions League on Thursday night, in a match that initially struggled for liftoff.
However, the German giants booked their place in the last four of the competition for the first time in the history with Adams the hero late on.
Leipzig took the lead through Dani Olmo in the 50th minute, with Felix then responding 21 minutes later after a penalty following a mazy run.
But, with just two minutes left on the clock, Adams struck to give Leipzig the victory they craved.
United players were surely watching on from home, with the Red Devils currently in Germany preparing for their own Europa League semi-finals.
And Solskjaer should ponder two signings in the aftermath of the showdown at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.
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United currently have a plethora of centre-back options at their disposal but, despite that, Solskjaer wants reinforcements to boost his side’s hopes of Premier League title glory.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have both proven themselves to be trusted yet neither has been flawless this season, even if both players have had a big role to play.
United coaching staff think there’s potential for Eric Bailly to be a huge asset in the future but, four years on from his arrival, the Ivory Coast international remains blighted by injury problems.
And there’s hopes for young duo Axel Tuanzebe and Tengi Mengi, who both have Solskjaer’s backing for the long term.
Yet the Norwegian knows the best title-winning teams need to have options. Good ones, too. And that’s why he wants another centre-back to arrive at the club this transfer window.
Upamecano could certainly be the way to go, with the youngster the best player on the Lisbon pitch in Leipzig’s vital Champions League win.
The 21-year-old was given the man of the match award after his stirring performance, with the centre-back successful in 94 p[er cent of his overall match actions.
He completed 72 of 78 attempted passes, too, and completed all three of the dribbles he attempted on the night.
But, when it came to dogged defensive work, the RB Leipzig star was a class above the rest.
He won 92 per cent of his defensive duels, a quite staggering statistic when you consider the size and magnitude of the occasion.
Upamecano was victorious in 100 per cent of his offensive duels, too, and won 80 per cent of his aerial duels – including three from three in the second half.
The Leipzig star would certainly be a good signing for Solskjaer’s squad, perhaps the key to truly coaxing the best from £80million captain Maguire.
But he isn’t the only player United should think about going after. Though it’s been a troublesome campaign for Felix, he too would be worth a punt.
Atletico spent big on the Portugal international a year ago, spending £114m on ensuring they won the race for the forward’s signature.
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And Felix, for the most part, has disappointed. However, there’s a sense that he’s been mismanaged by Diego Simeone over in Spain and his talent simply needs harnessing.
United, at present, are focusing all their efforts on signing Jadon Sancho from German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Yet negotiations with the Bundesliga side have been tough so far. And Dortmund are adamant he’s staying put with just about everybody associated with the club hammering that home.
Felix, therefore, could be the perfect alternative.
His stunning mazy run led to Atletico picking up a penalty and he kept his cool from 12 yards, too, slotting home with a composed finish.
He definitely would be a gamble given how he’s performed in Spain over the past year but Felix is a superstar in the making and United could do a lot worse than bringing him to Old Trafford this summer.
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Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 06:25:17 +0000