Man Utd are targeting the WRONG Casemiro replacement with Joao Gomes transfer

Suraj Radia
Casemiro, Man Utd, 2023/24

Manchester United will continue to seek ways to revamp their squad this summer, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly eyeing a highly-rated Premier League star to bolster the midfield.

Erik ten Hag has spent big on the likes of Casemiro and Mason Mount during his tenure but neither have lived up to their pricetags so far, with the likes of Scott McTominay and youngster Kobbie Mainoo being relied on instead.

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Casemiro is likely to leave in the summer amid interest from Saudi Arabia and The Mirror state that Wolves star Joao Gomes is being lined up as a potential replacement after a series of impressive performances in recent times.

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The 23-year-old joined Wolves in January last year for £12 million and scored both goals in his side’s win over Tottenham last month, as well as producing a stand-out display against Manchester City in September.

Gomes, who could receive his first cap for Brazil against England this weekend, is believed to represent a part of Ratcliffe’s plan to end United’s trend of spending exorbitant fees on high-profile players.

Wolves are said to have began scouting replacements, with Tottenham and Newcastle also credited with an interest, and the Midlands side are expected to demand a fee in excess of £40m for their prized midfielder.

Joao Gomes has been impressive for Wolves this season.
© IMAGO – Joao Gomes has been impressive for Wolves this season.

Why Gomes may not solve Ten Hag’s midfield conundrum

Nicknamed ‘The Pitbull’ in Brazil, Gomes is renowned for his industrious play style, with only two players having completed more tackles than him in the Premier League this season.

However, Gomes’ distribution perhaps leaves much to be desired, with success rate of just 82.5% from an average of 35 passes a game putting him lower than the 40th percentile of midfielders across Europe.

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United will perhaps be encouraged by the progression in Gomes’ game recently, having posted his only three goal contributions for Wolves in the past six weeks.

But an analysis by SciSports, who use data-driven analytics to assess a player, claims that United would only be the fourth-most suitable club for Gomes, with a move to West Ham or remaining at Wolves more likely to benefit the Brazilian’s play style.

SciSports analysis of the best clubs for Joao Gomes
© IMAGO – SciSports analysis of the best clubs for Joao Gomes

United are seeking a defensive-minded midfielder who can allow the likes of Mainoo, Mount and McTominay to focus on their strengths of going forward and contributing the goals which a player like Gomes may lack.

However, with just 3.5 progressive passes per 90 minutes – putting him in the 17th percentile – Gomes may lack the technical ability to transform Ten Hag’s midfield in the way a player such as Rodri or Declan Rice do for United’s rivals.

United may believe they can enhance Gomes’ game or focus solely on his specialist ability as a tough tackler and, while the policy to target cheaper players is admirable, it remains to be seen whether the Wolves star is the answer to Ten Hag’s problems at Old Trafford.

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