According to latest reports, Manchester United are chasing highly sought-after right-back Malo Gusto from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon. The Red Devils are looking to bring in a right-back to compete with Diogo Dalot for the starting spot.
Erik ten Hag has completely sidelined Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with just a single appearance for the Manchester club across all competitions, that too as a substitute. The Dutch manager has already asked the club to look for suitors for the former Crystal Palace full-back, who is most likely to be sold in January.
Meanwhile, Diogo Dalot has made the right-back position his own, being a constant fixture in the starting XI this campaign. He has had a fantastic season so far and looks likely to retain his starting place. The Dutchman wants to sign a full-back who can compete with the Portuguese defender and act as a replacement for AWB.
As reported by Fichajes (via The Peoples Person), Manchester United have expressed interest in Olympique Lyon defender Malo Gusto. The Premier League side are closely monitoring the defender’s progress at the French club.
Meanwhile, according to Graeme Bailey of 90min (via Sports Illustrated), the Red Devils are considering making a move for the 19-year-old in January. Erik ten Hag is adamant on signing a right-back in the upcoming transfer window to strengthen his defence.
However, Manchester United would face competition from the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus – who are also keen on Malo Gusto. Chelsea had enquired for the player in the last transfer window to reduce the burden on Reece James while Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid side need a long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal.
🚨Real Madrid are all set to compete with Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea in securing the signature of French full-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.🇫🇷
⬜#HalaMadrid 🟥#MUFC 🟦#CFC ⬜#OL https://t.co/LCs5aI0WMy pic.twitter.com/3fx1lnbJjR
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) November 19, 2022
Lyon will only demand around €15 million to part ways with him which is quite reasonable in the current transfer market. The Ligue 1 side have had a lot of talent in their squad in recent years with the likes of Nabil Fekir, Lucas Paqueta, Houssem Aouar and Bruno Guimaraes.
What Malo Gusto Brings To Manchester United
Malo Gusto has turned into a beast since joining Olympique Lyon seventeen months ago. He made his debut in 2021 during a spell where the French side were struggling to make it into the top three spots in the league. Gusto’s steady display ensured ample game time for him to develop into a quality full-back.
This season, the U-21 France international has been a regular starter in the Lyon lineup and has featured 14 times in the French league with one assist to his name (stats via Transfermarkt). He is a team player, which has been extremely useful for manager Peter Bosz’s possession-based game.
Gusto has the role of being the deep-holding player. He can stretch the space inside in close situations and is always accessible to his midfielders for short passes or runs into the box. He has a strong first touch and the capability to wiggle his body shape to adjust to awkward passes from teammates.
Malo Gusto vs Marseille
— Subcomandante Marcos (@189NlNE) May 2, 2022
Unlike Dalot and other right-backs in the Premier League, the Frenchman seems to lack the burst of pace when in possession to outrun opposition full-backs. His footwork will need improvement if he needs to take larger strides while attacking from the flanks.
On the positive side, the French defender possesses the ideal physicality for the Premier League and makes those last-ditch tackles to shield his keeper. Sometimes he does lose his shape while defending and might put in an odd foul, but other than that, he is quite reliable defensively. He has a good weak foot ability and is comfortable to use either in tricky situations but needs to find the right balance over time.
Gusto has to work on his crossing technique something which led to Wan Bissaka’s demise from the United lineup. He has the curl and height in his crossing but the weight on the ball seems to be a bit more than required. He is proactive and his positional strength enables him to navigate counter-press well and intervenes quickly.
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In one of his recent post-match interviews, Erik ten Hag was clear that a club like Manchester United who are challenging in multiple competitions throughout the season will need squad depth in multiple positions.
Malo Gusto seems like an exciting talent that will bring dynamic qualities while being highly technical in his role. He would fit United’s possession-based game, but will also improve under Ten hag’s guidance to turn into a more modern right-back. The player seems to be developing well at Lyon and with age on his side, will continue to get better over the years.
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