Man Utd transfer news: Red Devils tipped to rival Chelsea for Milos Kerkez

Cameron Smith
Destiny Udogie, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham, 2023/24

In Luke Shaw, Manchester United have one of the best left-backs in world football. However, the England international can no longer be relied upon from a fitness perspective.

The Man Utd left-back was withdrawn at half-time during their recent win against Aston Villa, yet he was surprisingly named in their starting XI versus Luton Town during the Red Devils’ next league game.

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That decision appears to have been a major error, with Shaw substituted during the first-half after aggravating the injury. After the match, a club statement read: “Luke Shaw has sustained a muscle injury and will be out for an extended period. Further assessment is still required to determine the severity but we expect him to be absent for a few months.”

With Tyrell Malacia also injured, Ten Hag has no senior left-back to call upon and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s injury means he isn’t able to move Diogo Dalot across to the opposite flank either.

As a result, signing a new left-back has been added to Man Utd’s priority list, according to Fabrizio Romano. He told his Here We Go Podcast: “Because the injury to Luke Shaw, very negative season for Tyrell Malacia in terms of injury, very unlucky season for Tyrell Malacia, means that now Man Utd will look at [a] new left-back in the summer.

“They already considered the possibility for [Marc] Cucurella last summer before signing Reguilon. Now, they are also assessing different options – young, talented left-backs. And so I think Man Utd will be active on the market for a young left-back to bring something new in that position for the future.”

Furthermore, Ben Jacobs has revealed that Man Utd have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Bournemouth starlet Milos Kerkez. He told The United Stand: “I think in terms of left-backs, or more versatile wing-backs or inverted full-backs are concerned, Milos Kerkez is going to be one to watch.

“Chelsea have scouted him, Manchester United really like the player as well.”

As a result, both clubs could be set for a transfer battle this summer.

Milos Kerkez: Chelsea or Man Utd’s Destiny Udogie?

Kerkez’s ability is sky-high and he has the eighth-highest SciSkill potential of any left-back in world football, according to data analytics experts SciSports.

SciSports’ AI-driven algorithm combines countless different statistics to generate a SciSkill rating and potential rating for every player in the world, and only seven left-backs have a higher potential than Kerkez.

Milos Kerkez, Bournemouth
© IMAGO – Milos Kerkez, Bournemouth

Tottenham Hotspur star Destiny Udogie leads the way after a stellar first six months in the Premier League, while Real Madrid target and Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies is narrowly behind him in second.

Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid Nuno Mendes has the third-highest potential, Alejandro Balde is fourth and Ajax starlet Jorrel Hato is fifth.

Tyrick Mitchell is a surprising sixth, while Theo Hernandez is the only other left-back with higher SciSkill potential than Kerkez.

The 10 left-backs with the highest SciSkill potential in world football

Player Club SciSkill Potential
1. Destiny Udogie Tottenham 135.7
2. Alphonso Davies Bayern Munich 135.0
3. Nuno Mendes PSG 134.7
4. Alejandro Balde Barcelona 132.7
5. Jorrel Hato Ajax 123.3
6. Tyrick Mitchell Crystal Palace 120.8
7. Theo Hernandez AC Milan 120.0
8. Milos Kerkez Bournemouth 119.6
9. Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal 118.7
10. Luca Netz Borussia Monchengladbach 117.3

Shaw is an extremely talented left-back, but Man Utd should be looking for a long-term replacement given his extremely patchy injury record.

As for Ben Chilwell, many Chelsea fans have expressed their dissatisfaction regarding his ability in build-up and would like their club to sign a new long-term option in that position.

Kerkez fits that description and would be an excellent addition for both clubs.

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