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Monday, July 15, 2024

Man Utd transfer target would be a disastrous signing, club must avoid at all costs

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Manchester United are in desperate need for backup, or even a replacement for the injury prone Luke Shaw. So it is strange that the club are claimed to be looking at an equally injured player.

A report in The Mail suggest Manchester United are considering making a shock move for Chelsea wantaway Ben Chilwell.

Ben Chilwell is a Champions League winner, and a few seasons ago this might have been worthy swoop for the Red Devils. But now, Ben Chilwell’s injury record alone should be enough for Manchester United management to withdraw from this deal.

Manchester United need a fit left-back, not Ben Chilwell

Manchester United are rightfully looking for more cover for Luke Shaw. But seemingly in the wrong place.

The Red Devils left back is brilliant when he plays, but over the last few seasons he has been in and out of the team with injuries. Over the past three seasons he has missed a total of 55 games and 325 days.

This is not a dependable player during crucial parts of the season. The added worry is that his back-up, Tyrell Malacia, has also experienced a major injury and thus he will also have to be managed conservatively with a high risk of re-injury when he returns.

So the team have to look to recruit, so that the side can have a consistent backline but also that it can allow Shaw and Malacia time to manage their injuries and return to full fitness.

There is no denying that Ben Chilwell is a quality left-back. But only when he is fit.

Take the very clear situation in point, where Chilwell has not been fit to make the Euro 2024 squad.

Since 21/22, Chiwell has suffered a cruciate ligament Injury, three hamstring Injuries and three further spells out with knee problems.

All these issues have totalled in 446 days out and 100 games missed. This means that his injury record is as bad as, if not worse, than Luke Shaw’s.

But the type of injuries he has suffered are also a worry. ACL injuries are one of the most feared due to the extended time a player is out for, but also the well-documented issues it has on a player’s athleticism.

Dr Matt Provencher of the Steadman Clinic in the USA explained that it can take two years for a player to fully return to their pre-injury levels after an ACL injury. But that is if they ever return. Quite often the ACL is so bad a player can never return to their previous level.

After this, Chilwell has suffered repeated hamstring and knee problems showing significant issues, plus has a high chance of re-injuries again.  

Finally, his age, 27, means that this is a high risk move with little chance of resale value. If the injuries do continue the club are likely to be stuck with a high wage asset who cannot be shifted on easily.

Manchester United Must Be Cautious

The club had the worst injury record in the Premier League last season with the most time loss injuries and the second highest injury incidence rate, so signing a highly injury prone player is not smart business.

Chilwell has not been able to compete at his peak since his ACL injury as so many setbacks have interrupted any chance of regaining rhythm and sharpness.

The side must turn their attention to a proven, high quality player and one who has an exemplary injury record. Age profiling is also important so that the individual can grow into the role and that they are not at their peak already.

Manchester United fans will hope that this is just rumour and that the club do not bring Ben Chilwell on board to the club. His injury history coupled with his age means that it is a high risk transfer that has little upside to it.

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