Manchester United still have a lot to play for this season, with Champions League qualification still up in the air and an FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City on the horizon, but attention is already turning to the summer transfer market.
With centre-forward being an area that manager Erik ten Hag appears eager to address ahead of next season, rumors suggest that the Red Devils are interested in Napoli wonder Victor Osimhen, as well as Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, in order to find a long-term, number nine answer.
The newest speculation suggests that United may have selected one of Osimhen’s Serie A-winning teammates, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, as a prospective target, adding to the assumption that the former Ajax manager is also looking to bolster his midfield ranks.
According to a recent Napoli Calcio story Live, the Old Trafford outfit – as well as Spurs – are reportedly interested in signing the former Fulham man this summer, despite the fact that the 27-year-old only joined his current club on a permanent deal last year, having spent the previous season on loan in Naples.
However, as the piece points out, the Italian champions are expected to be in a strong bargaining position due to the option of a two-year extension on the player’s current contract, which expires in 2025, despite United’s willingness to make a ‘significant offer’ in order to complete a deal.
Is Zambo Anguissa a good purchase for Manchester United?
The 6 foot “monster,” as journalist Raj Chohan described him, has undoubtedly deserved such attention for his crucial role in leading Luciano Spalletti’s team to Scudetto triumph, having scored twice and registered four assists in 33 league games to far.
The ex-Craven Cottage ace has been particularly brilliant this season as a result of his ball-winning abilities, averaging 1.5 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game in Serie A, as well as offering a commanding presence in the air, winning a respectable 61% of his aerial duels.
According to CIES Football Observatory, the Cameroon international is currently valued at around £26 million, making him an ideal alternative to another reported United target, Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, who has been linked with a move to the Theatre of Dreams in recent months.
With the 24-year-old unlikely to come cheap – according to FBref, his current contract carries a €1 billion (£856 million) release clause – Anguissa might be Ten Hag’s answer to the Bernabeu ace, with the duo thought to share a number of statistical and aesthetic parallels.
The duo’s ability to drive forward from deep and spark attacks with incisive forward passes is highlighted by the £59k-per-week Napoli man’s 51 progressive carries and 164 progressive passes, while Valverde has 69 and 145 for the same two metrics, respectively.
To be likened to the latter man – who has also been characterized as a “monster” by talent scout Jacek Kulig – is an indicator of Anguissa’s maybe underappreciated potential, with Valverde having been lauded as one of the top three players “in the world right now” by colleague Toni Kroos earlier in the season.
Ten Hag finding his answer to the Madrid man with a move for the Cameroonian ace may constitute a great coup for United.