According to reports in France, Manchester United are reportedly eyeing the services of Monaco wonderkid Benoit Badiashile. The youngster is regarded as one of the biggest defensive prospects in Europe and the Red Devils are looking to secure the his signature in the summer amid a host of competition from other clubs.
Benoit Badiashile joined the AS Monaco youth setup from SC Malesherbes, a fifth division French club, in 2016. The 19-year-old defender signed his first professional contract with Monaco in February 2018 and had his contract extended till July 2024 in 2019.
The youngster made his professional debut for Monaco in a 4-0 Ligue 1 loss to PSG in 2018. He has made a total of 20 senior appearances for the French club this season, starting 57 percent of those games and his performances this season has further cemented his status as one of the most sought after defensive prospects in the top five leagues.
And according to French news outlet RMC Sport, the 19-year-old defender will be one of United’s top targets this summer as Ole plans to bolster his squad to challenge Liverpool for the title next title.
Defence has been a major concern for Manchester United ever since Sir Alex retired. Over the years, several defensive pairs have been tried and tested by different managers, but none of the former managers had been able to establish a firm and stable partnership at the back.
However, under current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have, to a certain degree, found a reliable defensive pairing in Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. Moreover, the addition of young English full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has fairly improved the United defence, as compared to the previous seasons. This shows why the Red Devils have the second-highest number of clean sheets this season across all competitions in Europe’s top five leagues after PSG.
Although, United’s defence has improved, is it enough to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool? Probably not and this might be the reason why Ole is still keen to sign a dynamic and young centre-back to build on the defensive artillery and increase the squad depth.
Ole’s philosophy so far has been clear in that he wants to build a young and aggressive team by signing less aged players of high calibre and potential and raise them the “Man United way” in order to develop them well for their future and the clubs.
Which is why it makes perfect sense that, Ole and his scouts are keen to sign young budding prospect Benoit Badiashile from Monaco for a cut price deal now rather then waiting for a couple of years and then spending €70million on him.
However, Manchester United aren’t the only team vying for the services of the young Frenchman. Earlier, a bid of €15million by Stade Rennais was rejected by Monaco. But, as per RMC Sport, United are ready to go as high as €30million to land their man, with clubs like Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia also showing considerable interest.
With a playing time of just around 1700 minutes, Its quite remarkable how Benoit Badiashile has already caught the eye of a number of major clubs in Europe and United’s presence among them will only add to transfer value in due course.
For now, Transfermarkt rates his current market value at €18million which makes sense considering Leverkusen and Rennes have already seen bids of around €15m and €20m rejected. Last summer, he was considered to be a potential target for Chelsea and Wolves but a move did not materialise fortunately.
Currently, with Solskjaer building the team from scratch with the ‘United mentality’, the young Monaco defender can turn out to be a the real deal for the Red Devils. His aggression, passion, and understanding of the game combined with the flair with which he plays are exactly what United needs.
Amid speculations of players like Smalling (currently on loan at Roma) and Jones leaving the club soon, it is important for the club to increase their depth at the back and he might just be the player United are looking for.