According to latest reports, Manchester United have missed out on RC Lens right-back Jonathan Clauss. The Red Devils were ready to rival Chelsea in their pursuit of the French full-back, but it now seems that both the Premier League side have failed to secure the player’s services.
The French international was valued at around £8 million by the Ligue 1 side. Clauss had only a year left on his contract and was reluctant to renew. After spending years in the lower leagues, he has recently come into the limelight as he continues his second year in the top flight.
The right-back has made four appearances for his national team recently and wanted a move to the big leagues. His outstanding performances attracted the interest of multiple Premier League clubs. As reported by The Evening Standard, Manchester United joined Chelsea in the race to sign Jonathan Clauss this summer.
However, according to 90min, Olympique Marseille have completed the signing Jonathan Clauss for around €10m. Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirmed the news and stated that a deal has been signed by the defender and the French club have sealed the move.
Jonathan Clauss, now in Marseille to undergo medical tests and sign as new OM player after official bid accepted by Lens. 🔵🛩 #OM
Clauss will sign the contract today afternoon, following Granada’s Luis Suárez as new OM signing.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 19, 2022
Early Career And Profile
Jonathan Clauss failed to make it big during his academy days in Strasbourg. He had to work his way up from the lower leagues in France, then spend some time in Bundesliga 2 before signing for RC Lens. He made his debut for France in 2022 and is expected to be a part of France’s 2022 World Cup squad under Didier Deschamps.
The 29-year-old certainly fitted the profile that United are looking for: a right-back who acts more as a progressing lane and provides a presence in attack. He was an integral part of the Ligue 1 club, be it in attack or defence.
Jonatan #Clauss seems close to join #OM ⚪️🔵
His per 90' performance radar in 21-22 #Ligue1 🇫🇷 with #Lens 🟡🔴
Incredible offensive performances !!! 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/9u5vqDWNwN
— MxD Zone (@mxd_zone) July 19, 2022
He is known for progressing the ball into the final third and is very often able to pick out a teammate which allows him to create goal-scoring opportunities. Many of these opportunities come from crosses into the penalty area. Clauss averages 5.3 crosses per 90 minutes, as per Breaking the Lines.
The Frenchman is very confident with the ball at his feet. He demonstrates a willingness to take on opposition players in his bid to drive the attack forward. He is always on the lookout for teammates who are making runs and has a pass accuracy of 70% in the 2021/22 season.
However, despite being an attacking full-back, Clauss does not shy away from his defensive obligations. He averages 5 interceptions per 90. He presses high up the pitch and tries to win the ball back early to prevent his team from being hit on the counterattack.
Jonathan Clauss had the most goal involvement for a defender in the big five leagues last season at Lens.
– 11 goals
– 5 assists
– 16 goal involvements. #CFC https://t.co/0TsEYOhR0K
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 21, 2022
Still, he needs to improve in certain areas if he wants to make it into the top sides. A slight criticism of Clauss’ game would be that he always prioritises his attacking duties and that occasionally causes him to react late defensively.
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Chelsea definitely had space in their squad for more defenders with the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta likely to move to FC Barcelona. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have also left on free transfers and there is a shortage of defenders at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United on the other hand was also a good destination for Jonathan Clauss. The Red Devils are undergoing a rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag. The Manchester club are starting with a clean slate and the defender would have gotten opportunities at Old Trafford to prove his quality in the Premier League.
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