ETH could unearth Man Utd’s next Pogba in “golden boy” who was “sumptuous” in Qatar – opinion

    Manchester United are on the prowl for fresh additions to lift the tenure of Erik ten Hag to new heights, with Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister touted…

    What’s the word?

    Reports from Spain have recently stated that the Red Devils are the latest club to express an interest in Mac Allister, who recently played a central role in Argentina’s World Cup-winning campaign in Qatar.

    United’s interest arrives following initial murmurings that Arsenal and Atletico Madrid were weighing up their options concerning a transfer, according to Spanish outlet AS.

    And with the January transfer window looming, Ten Hag may be wise to instigate a deal before a rival, and cement the club’s stature at the forefront of the Premier League.

    United’s next Pogba

    Mac Allister started six of Argentina’s seven World Cup fixtures, earning an average rating of 7.05 and clinching a goal and an assist – which came exquisitely served to Angel di Maria in the finale against France, as per Sofascore.

    Completing 89% of his passes, succeeding with 67% of his dribbles and making 1.5 tackles per outing, Mac Allister was a truly brilliant cog in the prosperous Argentina outfit.

    And the 23-year-old had been in fine fettle before absorbing the responsibility at the centre of his country’s triumphant exploits, scoring five Premier League goals from 14 appearances for the Seagulls this season.

    Indeed, signing for Albion in 2019 from homeland outfit Argentinos Juniors, Mac Allister has gone on to make 86 appearances on English soil, scoring 13 goals and providing six assists, making incremental gains each year and growing into his role at the club.

    As per FBref, the 14-cap star ranks within the top 6% for total shots and 15% for tackles when compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues across the past year – indicating a vigorous approach to his play, not shirking from offensive or defensive duties.

    He could adopt the hole left in the United side by Paul Pogba, who departed from Old Trafford on a free transfer for the second time this summer, repeating his previous exit by signing for Juventus. 

    The “sumptuous” South American – as hailed by Gary Lineker – plays a flexible role at the heart of his team, often the offensive spark from the middle and known to drift down the left flank; a roaming playmaker. 

    Like Pogba, he drifts from the position that cements teammates in place, and combines physicality with an all-round game iced by a knack for finding the net.

    In the Frenchman’s best season, he scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists, and this rate of productivity that Mac Allister can look to emulate under Ten Hag.

    He could provide United with the missing element to their attacking efforts, serving as the “golden boy” – as once lauded by Brighton-focused creator Ryan Adsett –  to ignite gilt-edged success at the Theatre of Dreams.

    Some reports claim that Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi would demand a fee of around £30.5m for his signature, but it’s hard to believe the AMEX Stadium would part with such a promising young player for anything less than near double that – especially with the recent lucrative departures of the likes of Marc Cucurella for roughly £60m and Ben White for £50m.

    United have money in the bank, however, and they should plunder the Seagulls for one of their most coveted assets, unleashing their new Pogba to play a pivotal role in the return to prominence.

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