Manchester United’s Latest Target Is Still A World-Class Performer

By timgarrett IN Premier League,Transfers - 12:15 Aug 7th 2018

Anxiety levels are rising amongst Manchester United fans. Barcelona bidding for Paul Pogba is the stuff of nightmares, and the lack of vital new players coming in is becoming somewhat alarming. With the transfer window set to slam shut in 2 days time, action is needed. And fast.

The scene could, however, look completely different by Friday morning. The period of uncertainty might be over. New players may have arrived, and surely no right-thinking chairman or chief executive would countenance selling a star with no opportunity to get a replacement, whether the European window remains open or not.

One big signing in the coming days would do much to allay fears and placate increasingly agitated manager José Mourinho and, as things stand, the most likely arrival appears to be Bayern Munich’s Jérôme Boateng. The Bavarian giants have reportedly been willing to listen to offers for their German international all summer long and, as the clock ticks down, Old Trafford seems his most likely destination.

An erratic World Cup for "Die Mannschaft" has led some to question the wisdom of such a deal, however. While there can be no questioning the fact that Boateng has enjoyed an illustrious career at the very highest level, some now suggest he may be past his best.

Jerome Boateng
CLUB Bayern MunichAGE 29Y 11M
POS DEFHEIGHT 6FT 4IN
2017/18
WITH
WITHOUT
Matches
19
15
Win %
89%
67%
Draw %
11%
7%
Loss %
0%
27%
Avg Goal for
3.2
2.1
Avg Goals against
0.6
1.1
Mins per goal for
28.5
42.2
Mins per goal against
142.5
84.4
Shots for per game
14.7
13.1
Points per game
2.8
2.1
Clean sheets
11
5
TOTAL
10
1

Boateng appeared in just 19 of Bayern’s 34 Bundesliga outings last season yet, while some may suggest that statistic itself hints at a player in decline, the side’s struggles without him highlight just how important he remains.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Bayern should stroll to victory every week domestically but, when Boateng was unavailable, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. 27% of games were lost and just 67% won without the former Manchester City man, representing a massive 22% drop off in their win ratio.

Average goals conceded per game also almost doubled without Boateng, while clean sheets were kept in just 33% of games compared 58% with him at the heart of their defence.

All of these statistics quite clearly highlight that Boateng’s presence on the pitch remained absolutely vital to Bayern last season. A continuation their form without him for a full season wouldn’t have won them the Bundesliga and, as such, it’s baffling why they’re so eager to sell.

At 29-years-old Boateng is no spring chicken and he has had injury issues in recent seasons, but there can be no doubt that he’s still a world-class performer. If he can stay fit he would be a huge asset to United and, given current circumstances, should be signed up without a second’s hesitation.

The Acca Smacker

For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.

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