Erik Ten Hag eyes perfect Aaron-wan-Bissaka replacement

Erik ten Hag is set to be eyeing a move for Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries this summer, according to reports. United are expected to look for options at right-back, as neither Aaron Wan-Bissaka nor Diogo Dalot have made a convincing case for the position in recent seasons.

Dalot’s current contract, which is set to expire next season, appears unlikely to be extended, while Wan-Bissaka appears to be a costly write-off. Ten Hag’s system heavily relies on wing-backs, and the Dutchman will be well aware of what Dumfries can bring, having played against him several times while at PSV.

Dumfries rose to prominence in the Eredivisie, when they were named to the division’s Team of the Season in the 2018-19 season alongside Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong. Inter swooped in and battled off heavy competition to sign him last summer for just £15 million after three excellent years at PSV, where he scored 16 goals and added 20 assists. Dumfries has continued his good form in Italy, swiftly establishing himself as a key player and contributing five goals and seven assists.

He has a huge, powerful build, but he’s also tremendously quick, which helps him drive up and down the wing for his side. He also has exceptional technical skill, being able to dribble out of tight spaces or past opponents to get into good crossing positions.

As evidenced by his average of 2.5 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, his attacking influence is often a significant creative asset for his team. Wan-Bissaka, on the other hand, has only averaged 1.5 per 90 minutes at United this season.

It’s worth noting, however, that Dumfries isn’t just a good attacker; he’s also a solid and consistent defender. This season, he has success rates of in and around 60% for duels both in the air and on the floor.

Wan-Bissaka’s greatest strength is his defense, and while he does have a defensive duel success rate equal to Dumfries, he’s significantly less intimidating in the air, winning only 46% of his aerial duels this season.

It’s unclear whether Inter would be willing to sell a crucial player who was only signed a year ago.

However, the promise of a rapid profit may be enough to persuade them. This could imply United will have to pay more than £25 million to sign Dumfries, which, given his age of 26, and potential ceiling, isn’t a bad deal.

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