It was pleasing to see the return of Eric Bailly in the Manchester United starting line-up on Sunday for the final Premier League game of the season. The Ivorian performed well and even gave the fans something to shout about by channeling his inner Zinedine Zidane by roasting a Watford player with sheer skill from the back.
Ballsy as Bailly is, he needs a partner in crime next season. And I’m not a bit convinced any of the centre backs we’ve currently got are good enough, except Victor Lindelof, who needs more time to prove himself. The Swede has only had one season at United and everyone should know how difficult the English game can be to adapt to.
Even if you look up and down the Premier League, there are few centre backs that you could consider world-class. Toby Alderweireld, 29, of Tottenham Hotspur is, however, one you could argue is deserving of that status.
On Tuesday, the Evening Standard report that Alderweireld, a former Champions League finalist at La Liga giants Atletico Madrid, could well be on his way to Old Trafford.
This would be a bitter pill for Spurs fans to swallow, considering Maurico Pochettino’s men finished third, a place behind United, but the Argentine boss didn’t get enough use out of the defender this season.
The report, written by Dan Kilpatrick, suggests United will spent £40 million to sign Alderweireld. Spurs risk losing the Belgian defender for just £25 million next summer, so they could easily accept this offer because it presents profit.
Kilpatrick claims Spurs previously offered Alderweireld £120,000 per-week to sign a new deal, but the player is seemingly looking to move elsewhere to better his career.
There aren’t many better defenders in England better than Alderweireld and in order to really challenge City next season, a strong partnership in defence is essential. Pep Guardiola’s side hasn’t currently got one which makes it even more important, especially given all great United and Mourinho team were built on one.
The Reds take on Chelsea this weekend in the FA Cup final. Hopefully Bailly starts and we bring the FA Cup home.