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Five Mats Hummels alternatives for Manchester United

| 06.01.2015

Manchester United, 16/1 to win the Premier League, have reportedly lodged a bid for Borussia Dortmund centre back and captain Mats Hummels, but do they really need him?

If he is that good then why aren’t the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Chelsea chasing him? His one obvious flaw will get exposed in the Premier League, which has been unforgiving to better players than the Germany World Cup winner over the years.

A distinct lack of pace and a laborious turn is yet to be exposed in the Bundesliga, which lacks fast strikers; however, against the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Daniel Sturridge, Sergio Aguero and Saido Berahino who have pace to burn, he could be found out, prompting the question: has Louis van Gaal executed the right levels of due diligence?

He could be a success, if the club adapt to him, which would mean playing a deeper line, and having a faster defensive partner such as Marcos Rojo to cover. This is eventually what Arsenal did with Hummels’ compatriot Per Mertesacker, which worked to good effect, though are there better options for Van Gaal to pursue at centre back?

Read on as Coral investigates other potential players that could adequately fill the position.

Nicolas N’Koulou
The Cameroon centre back seems to possess every quality to succeed at the highest level. Blessed with pace, strength and an imposing aerial ability, the 24-year-old can also read the pattern of play and would fit in well at Old Trafford. Currently at Marseille, he is well regarded across Europe and don’t be surprised to see Dortmund move for him, if Hummels does indeed move to Man Utd.

Untested in Europe, the Brazilian centre back is highly thought of in South America and, at 26, he has a number of years where he can make an impact at the highest level. Dominant in the air, great in the box at set pieces, and crucially fast, he would be a cheaper alternative for Van Gaal pursue.

Uros Spajic
He well be the next Nemanja Vidic for both Man Utd and Serbia; the Toulouse centre back is tough and uncompromising in style and, at just 21 years old, he has a bright future. If he has come across Van Gaal’s radar, a bid may be wise. He would add much-needed depth in that position and would be relatively cheap.

Joel Veltman
Van Gaal’s compatriot who was part of his Netherlands World Cup squad could be a long term option for the club. The 22-year-old has rolled off the famed production line at Ajax, where he has made 15 appearances this season, scoring three goals. He was linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham last summer, though United have the obvious advantage.

Raphael Varane
Real Madrid’s 21-year-old centre back has reportedly been told he can leave the club, and according to insiders the player is keen on a move to Old Trafford. He would also be cheaper than Hummels, who is reportedly valued at £47m by Dortmund, with the Frenchman rumoured to be allowed to leave for as little as £20m. Under Van Gaal he could become a world class player.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.