Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is believed to be eyeing a reunion with Ajax starlet Mohammed Kudus as the Red Devils seek to strengthen their attacking options.
According to The Athletic‘s Andy Mitten, the Dutchman is said to be an admirer of the Ghana international due to the youngster’s ‘skill and dynamism’, having previously coached the 22-year-old during his time in Amsterdam.
The article also states that a new forward recruit is a ‘priority’ for the Old Trafford club ahead of the January transfer window, with the Red Devils’ attacking ranks having been somewhat depleted following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit last month.
Any deal for the former Nordsjaelland man – who was the subject of a £15m offer from Everton over the summer – will likely not come cheap, though, with reports earlier this month suggesting that the Eredivisie giants could demand a fee of around £40m for Kudus.
Ten Hag has already raided his former employers during his United tenure so far, with the 52-year-old having snapped up South American duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony during the summer transfer window.
The addition of Martinez in particular has proven particularly fruitful in the early months of the campaign, with the aggressive centre-back having been lauded as the club’s “player of the season” so far by Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst.
Despite initial doubts over the Argentine’s suitability for the Premier League – with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher suggesting that the 24-year-old “can’t work” in the centre of defence – the 5 foot 9 ace has gone on to be a relative ever-present this term, starting all 14 of United’s top-flight games.
The World Cup winner – who has been described as an “animal” by compatriot Emi Martinez – has notably averaged 1.9 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game in the Premier League this term, having added real “quality” to United’s backline, according to Ian Wright.
The hope will be that adding Kudus into the fold could mirror that Martinez masterclass. The fleet-footed forward has sparkled in Netherlands in recent times, scoring ten goals and registering two assists in just 21 games in all competitions this term, including six goal involvements in just six Champions League games.
The highly-rated “star boy” – as described by one source – also caught the eye as a result of his displays for his country in Qatar in recent weeks, notably netting twice in the thrilling 3-2 victory over South Korea in the group stage.
Lauded as a player of “incredible potential” by Ten Hag in the past, the 21-cap gem is truly starting to illustrate that ‘potential’ at the elite level, showcased by his ranking in the top 1% for dribbles completed and the top 1% for pass completion among those in his position in Europe’s major leagues, as per FBref.
That fluid quality in possession would no doubt be an attractive prospect for the Red Devils, with the hope now being that the United boss can repeat his Martinez masterstroke and bring Kudus to the Theatre of Dreams.
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