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INEOS have 3 perfect transfer targets to replace Rashford at Man Utd

Written by on May 1, 2024

The 2023/24 season has not been easy for Manchester United. Erik ten Hag’s side currently sit in sixth place in the Premier League, on 54 points, although they are mathematically out of the running for a top-four finish now.

It has been a tough season for some individuals in United’s squad, too. Marcus Rashford is one man who has struggled to find his best form. He has scored just seven goals and registered two assists in 31 Premier League games, a major drop-off from last season when he scored 17 league goals.

There is little doubting Rashford’s ability when he is in full flow. As the statistics show, he is one of the deadliest wingers, and has 131 Manchester United goals in 399 games, along with 64 assists. In one-on-one situations, Rashford is deadly, using his strength and skill to beat a defender and burst away into space.

The England international is an explosive player, who enjoys driving from out wide into the penalty area, proven by the fact he takes his most average touches in the box, according to Fbref. His 5.72 touches in the penalty box per 90 minutes last season place him in the top 18% of wingers in the Premier League.

He does his best work with a centre forward who can drop deep, pulling defenders away to help vacate space, like Anthony Martial has done so well during his career. Perhaps this is part of the reason for Rashford’s tough season. Rasmus Hojlund is not as accomplished at doing this, and often operates in the same areas Rashford would ideally play in.


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With Rashford’s form hit and miss so far this season, there are reports that he could leave United in the summer. The Telegraph’s James Ducker broke the news last Monday that the Red Devils are willing to listen to offers for every player, including Rashford.

Despite David Ornstein of The Athletic explaining United are likely to keep Rashford, there have been reports linking INEOS to some of the top wingers in Europe, who could prove to be a replacement for the United academy graduate.

3

Nico Williams – Athletic Club


nico-williams-athletic-bilbao

The first option United have to replace Rashford is exciting winger Nico Williams, of Athletic Club. According to UtdDistrict, the 21-year-old is a target for the Red Devils this summer and has a £43m release clause as per Mundo Deportivo.

The youngster is having a great season so far, having scored four goals and assisted eight in La Liga, as well as scoring three and assisting five in just six Copa del Rey games, on the way to winning the cup. This is the best goal-involvement return of his career so far, which shows quick improvement in his game.

In terms of his profile, Williams is rapid, and a sensational one-vs-one dribbler. According to Fbref, the 21-year-old averages 5.56 progressive carries per 90 minutes and 2.55 carries into the penalty area per 90 minutes, both of which rank him in the top 4% of La Liga wingers.


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Those are better than Rashford’s carrying numbers, with United’s number 10 averaging 2.66 progressive carries and 1.72 carries into the penalty area per 90 minutes. With that being said, United have a lot more of the ball and a lot less space to attack than Bilbao, meaning his numbers do take a hit.

Williams has often played on the right wing for Athletic Club, although he is right-footed. This means a shift to the left wing would not be too much of an issue and would make him less predictable because he is confident on both feet, thus being able to take it on the outside or inside of a full-back.

Williams would certainly be a shrewd option for United, given his immense carrying ability, two-footedness and age profile. At just £43m, he could be on his way to Old Trafford this summer should Rashford depart.

2

Rafael Leao – AC Milan


AC Milan's Rafael Leao reacts

The second option for United is AC Milan and Portugal winger Rafael Leao. The 24-year-old is a target for United as per TEAMtalk, and according to Goal.com, could cost around £85m.

The Portugal international is having a slightly disappointing season himself, considering his usual standards. He has double figures in goals and assists in the last two seasons but Leao has scored seven goals and assisted eight in 30 Serie A games so far this season.

Stylistically, Leao is quite similar to Rashford, an explosive winger who loves to carry from out wide and into the penalty area. As per Fbref, he averages 2.84 carries into the penalty area per 90 minutes, ranking him in the top 1% of Serie A wingers.


rafael-leão-ac-milan

Leao is also a superb creator in the final third. He averages 2.22 passes into the penalty box per 90 minutes, and 2.14 key passes per 90 minutes. That ranks him in the top 2% and 16% respectively. In contrast, Rashford averaged 1.66 passes into the penalty area per 90 minutes last season, placing him in the top 23%.

While Leao is undoubtedly a superb winger, it perhaps seems a little strange to sell Marcus Rashford and bring in an equally, if not more expensive replacement, who is of a very similar profile. He would be a good addition for United, but it doesn’t seem like the most sensible piece of business to conduct for the Red Devils.

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Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid


Endrick-Vinicius-Junior

The final option United could have is Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, who is perhaps the best left-winger in the world. According to reports in Spain, United are one of three clubs interested in signing the Brazilian star. but other reports state he could cost a whopping £130m.

In terms of sheer output, Vini’s numbers from 2023/24 are flawless. He has 13 goals and five assists in just 23 La Liga games, after he was injured for a portion of the campaign. He also has one goal involvement per game in the Champions League, with three strikes and four assists in seven appearances.

As far as wingers go, Vini is the complete player. The 23-year-old is rapid, and uses his pace to great effect, making him a deadly ball-carrier. As per Fbref, he averages 6.10 progressive carries per 90 minutes, 3.84 carries into the penalty area 3.30 carries into the final third. That places him in the top 1% of positionally similar players in Europe for the first two stats and the top 3% for the latter.


Vinicius Jr. celebrates for Real Madrid

Creatively, Vini is superb, averaging 1.57 final third passes per 90 minutes, and 1.35 key passes per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the top 20% and top 16% amongst La Liga forwards this season.

It is fair to say that the Brazil international is one of the best on the planet. His manager Carlo Ancelotti, certainly believes so, saying last year: “For me, Vinicius Junior is the best player in the world”. He puts up elite goal involvement numbers, and his underlying statistics are phenomenal. Should Kylian Mbappe join Real Madrid, there may be a chance for a club to sign Vini this summer, although £130m is a lot of money.

With that being said, United may well keep hold of Rashford. After all, he is quite clearly a magnificent winger who is simply having an off-season, and it seems ludicrous for the club to sell such a wonderful talent who embodies the club, if he is happy to stay at Old Trafford next season.

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