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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Man Utd want to sign ‘scary’ England star to rival Marcus Rashford

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There have been some legendary players to have played for both Manchester United and Newcastle United, two giants of English football, over the years. Perhaps the most famous of them all was striker Andy Cole, who lit up the Premier League for the Magpies before moving to Old Trafford and promptly winning the treble. He scored 121 goals in 275 appearances for the Red Devils. Another treble-winner to have played for both clubs is Nicky Butt. The Class of ‘92 member played 385 times for United, winning eight Premier League titles along the way, before switching to St James’ Park in 2005 where he played 171 times for the club. One of the more controversial players to have played for both clubs is Michael Owen. Given his history with Liverpool, it seemed outlandish for him to ever call Old Trafford home, but he switched the North East for the North West in 2009, where he proceeded to play 52 times in red, scoring 17 times. Other notable names on the list had fleeting spells at one of the clubs, including another treble winner in Ronny Johnsen and French striker Louis Saha. However, with the transfer window open once more, there could be another player set to join United from the Magpies. Man Utd target Newcastle winger The player in question here is Newcastle winger Anthony Gordon, who is currently at Euro 2024 with England. The 23-year-old was impressive during the 2023/24 season and has now been linked with a move away from St James’ Park this summer. According to a report from news outlet CaughtOffside, Gordon is a player who is ‘wanted’ by United, and the Red Devils would ‘do well to push’ for the player during the summer transfer window. However, Erik ten Hag’s side are not the only club that want to sign Gordon this summer. West Londoners Chelsea, who almost signed Gordon in 2022, are interested, but it is United’s big rivals Liverpool who are currently ‘showing the strongest interest’ in the 23-year-old. That said, Gordon is not the only player on Liverpool’s list, which could open the door for United and Chelsea. It’s suggested that the Toon star would cost between £70m and £75m, a fair amount given the player’s quality and the fact he has two years left on his deal. It would also see Newcastle make a healthy profit, given they spent £40m upfront on the winger. Why Gordon would be a good signing Gordon was one of Newcastle’s best players last season, scoring 11 goals and registering ten assists in 35 Premier League games. His 21 combined goals and assists were the second-best amongst his teammates, bettered only by Alexander Isak who registered 23 goal involvements, as per Sofascore. Football analyst Umir called the winger “high level” on X, and it is easy to see why, given his goalscoring numbers. Euro 2024 has been a frustrating time for Gordon. He has barely had the opportunity to play any football so far, registering just one minute of normal time, in the third group stage game against Slovenia which England drew 0-0. In terms of his profile, Gordon is a rapid, direct winger who excels when running in behind, and in one-vs-one situations. It’s hardly a surprise that writer Henry Winter suggested that he “scares defenders.” Those aforementioned qualities are very similar to United’s key man on the wing, Marcus Rashford, who had a tough season in 2023/24. The Englishman scored just eight goals and registered five assists from 43 games, which followed a season of 30 goals and ten assists in 56 games, a campaign which showed his quality. Should United bring Gordon to the club, he could prove to be the perfect player to provide Rashford with competition on the left wing. Last season, United struggled for depth out there, given Alejandro Garnacho found a home on the right wing. With Rashford’s form patchy at times, having Gordon at his disposal could be a great option for Ten Hag. The 23-year-old would certainly bring something similar to Rashford to the United squad. They are both exemplary ball-carriers, especially from wide areas, driving inside towards the penalty box and running at defenders, before looking to get a shot off or find a pass. Last season, as per Fbref, Gordon averaged 2.27 carries into the final third per 90 minutes, compared to Rashford’s 2.02. However, the United number 10 averaged far more carries into the penalty box, with 2.54 compared to Gordon’s 1.84 per 90. Gordon vs. Rashford carrying numbers Stat (per 90) Gordon Rashford Progressive carries 4.30 3.77 Carries into final third 2.27 2.02 Carries into penalty box 2.54 1.84 Take-ons attempted 4.14 4.33 Take-ons completed 1.68 1.90 Stats from FBref Last season, Gordon’s creative numbers were slightly higher than Rashford’s, who averaged 0.91 key passes per game, compared to the Newcastle winger’s 1.78 key passes. Gordon also averages more passes into the final third with 1.68 per 90, and passes into the penalty box with 1.21, compared to Rashford’s 1.35 final third passes and 1.19 penalty box passes. Both wingers expected goals tally are pretty neck and neck, too. The 23-year-old Newcastle winger averages 0.32xG per 90, with the United academy graduate slightly less, averaging 0.29xG per 90 minutes. Should the Red Devils bring Gordon to the club, he could be an excellent alternative to Rashford. It gives their number 10 excellent competition, with the Magpies star being one of the best wingers in the Premier League last season. It also means you have a top-quality replacement should Rashford need time out of the side or picks up an injury. If Ten Hag sees Garnacho’s long-term future on the right wing, then signing Gordon certainly makes sense. Despite the fact he will cost a fair amount of money, upwards of £75m, it would be a smart investment for United to make. Related Man Utd in talks to sign 51m “monster” who’d star with De Ligt Manchester United are starting to make moves in the summer transfer window.

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