Paulo Dybala falls victim to Andrea Pirlo’s rebuild as he is put up for sale by Juventus. According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, as per The Sun, the Argentine is valued at £100 million by the Italians and will be sold if this figure is matched.
The report also goes on to say that Pirlo dreams of recruiting Real Madrid’s Isco. The Spaniard is rated highly by the new Juventus boss, who sees his potential partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo would be the right way to move forward and bring the best out of the Portuguese.
On the other hand, Marco Asensio and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba are seen as alternative options, as per Tuttosport via The Sun. The latter making a switch at this point will be highly unlikely as he’s close to signing an extension at Old Trafford and has made an invigorating comeback.
Furthermore, it is believed that Real Madrid might be tempted to take Dybala in return should they decide to offload one of the Old Lady’s targets. Manchester City are also said to be keeping an eye on the Juventus star as they view him as a possible replacement to David Silva, who joined Real Sociedad as a free agent this week.
Last season, Tottenham and Man United registered strong interest in Paulo Dybala, but none came to fruition. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of them also emerge as contenders for the forward’s services. However, will the Red Devils sign the Serie A Player of the Season, that is the question?
If the answers were to be summed up, it would be “no“. Not because the striker is not a good player, he is an absolute gem, but because there is no role or place that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could allot to the Argentine playmaker without hurting other United players.
Diving deeper, let us look at where the talented attacker could fit in at Manchester United. Displacing Anthony Martial, especially when he has finally found his groove, would not sit right with him or the fans. Moreover, the Frenchman is not exactly a player who can just be used as a backup, given his calibre and neither would he be willing to accept such a diminished role.
Further, the next possible position to accommodate Paulo Dybala is behind the striker – either as a second striker or an attacking midfielder. But this causes another conundrum as United signed Bruno Fernandes in January for a fee of over £55 million, who operates in a similar area and has been a revelation for the Red Devils since his arrival.
Objectively speaking, the Argentine international might be seen as a better player than the Portuguese midfielder, but buying a player for the same role after spending such a huge sum six months ago makes no sense. Besides, it would be an injustice to the former Sporting player who has suited to life so well at Old Trafford. Moreover, it would affect the playing minutes of youngsters like Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, if the 26-year-old was to be signed.
In conclusion, Solskjaer would have to modify not only his system but his entire formation to accommodate Dybala, if this signing is made. Paulo Dybala would occupy a ‘Raumdeuter’ role right behind Martial, to draw defenders away from the striker or to allow Fernandes to score from the space he would create in midfield.
This means that the Mancunians would have to ideally switch to a shape similar to a 4-4-2, with Anthony Martial and Paulo Dybala up top, Rashford on the left, and Greenwood (or Jadon Sancho, should he make the switch) on the right flank. The midfield would be occupied by Pogba and Fernandes, both dropping back when the opposition is in possession.
Offensively, the shape would look similar to a 4-1-2-3 with Fernandes and the Juventus star playing behind the striker and Pogba sitting back. However, this formation has no real defensive presence in midfield, which is a major weak spot that oppositions can target. Paul Pogba would have to assume a deep-lying playmaker role, whilst one of the centre-backs taking on the crucial sweeper role.
It is implementable, but can the Norwegian boss keep this system from getting exposed often? That is a question that cannot be answered. United would rather be better off making signings in crucial areas such as the right-wing and left-back, where they lack reliable players as well as squad depth.