Manchester United Plot Huge Gamble On Talented Shaw Replacement

By timgarrett IN Premier League,Transfers - 18:00 Jan 2nd 2018

After failing to beat Leicester, Burnley and Southampton in their opening three fixtures of the festive period, Manchester United made an encouraging start to 2018 by turning on the style in the second half as they defeated Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park.

Luke Shaw was part of the defensive unit that comfortably kept the Toffees at bay in that contest, earning his third consecutive start for the Red Devils in the process, yet it remains clear that Jose Mourinho is not overly enamoured with the young full-back.

If reports in The Guardian are to be believed, then the Old Trafford outfit are already lining up a big-money replacement, with Napoli’s Algeria international Faouzi Ghoulam set to become the subject of a £53m offer.

Faouzi Ghoulam v Luke Shaw

Since arriving at Manchester United in the summer of 2016, Mourinho has afforded Shaw just 13 starts and a further two substitute appearances in the 60 Premier League matches that he has presided over, though the defender has rewarded his manager with eight clean sheets:

Faouzi
Ghoulam
versusLuke
Shaw
DEFPOSITIONDEF
26Y 11MAGE22Y 5M
6FT 1INHEIGHT6FT 1IN
12ST 8LBWEIGHT11ST 8LB
 
SA | NAP | | MNU | PL
08/16 - 01/1808/16 - 01/18
37
STARTS
13
3366
MINS
PLAYED
1045
2
GOALS
SCORED
F
2
GOALS
HEAD/FOOT
9
ASSISTS
1
13
CLEAN
SHEETS
8
42
GOALS
AGAINST
11
80
MINS PER
GOALS A
95
6
TOTAL
2

During the same period, Ghoulam has clocked up over three times as many minutes in Serie A, demonstrating his attacking instincts by delivering nine assists, but the 26-year-old is expected to remain on the sidelines until April after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has struggled to rediscover his best form since going down with a similar problem last season, so the Red Devils would want to see the Napoli left-back finishing the campaign strongly before going ahead with any proposed deal in the summer:

Faouzi Ghoulam
POS: DEFAGE: 26Y 11M
HEIGHT: 6FT 1INWEIGHT: 12ST 8LB
 
SA | NAP | 17/1817/18 17/18 | NAP | SA
WITHWITHOUT
11
MATCHES
8
91%
WIN%
63%
9%
DRAW%
25%
LOSS%
13%
32
GOALS FOR
10
8
GOALS AGAINST
5
2.9
GOALS F
PER GAME
1.3
0.7
GOALS A
PER GAME
0.6
30.9
MINS PER
GOALS F
72
123.8
MINS PER
GOALS A
144
15.3
SHOTS F
PER GAME
12.3
2.8
POINTS
PER GAME
2.1
5
CLEAN SHEETS
4
10
TOTAL
3

As Ghoulam’s numbers in 2017/18 would seem to suggest, however, the left-back possesses the sort of winning mentality that Mourinho demands from his players, with the Algerian helping his Italian employers to win an extra 28% of their matches when taking to the pitch.

The Acca Smacker

There's plenty of action to keep us entertained this evening, with 8 of the Premier Leagues 20 sides in action, and the KickOff's all-new Acca Smacker is the place to build a winning bet.

Manchester City may have lost their winning run last time out, but the 'Form Stats' tab reveals that they've still won 9 in a row on home turf. Meanwhile fortunes in the Midlands could scarcely have been more different of late, with West Brom and Birmingham on 19 and 12 match winless runs respectively.

Explore the rest of our Predictions, Form Streaks and Form Stats below, and good luck!

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