Man Utd Transfer News: €30m Amadou Haidara could be Red Devils’ elite Christian Eriksen replacement

Tom Weber
Christian Eriksen, Man Utd

Christian Eriksen is expected to leave Manchester United this summer.

The Danish midfielder has admitted that he is unhappy with his lack of minutes under Erik ten Hag since the stunning emergence of Kobbie Mainoo and speculation surrounding his future is ramping up.

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Eriksen already had the chance to depart Old Trafford in January but decided to remain at Man Utd. It’s becoming increasingly clear that this was a mistake that he needs to rectify in the summer.

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A departure of the 32-year-old would necessitate the signing of a replacement, though perhaps Ten Hag believes that he has adequate cover in the shape of Mason Mount who, it must be said, is a luxury substitute at this point.

Signing a more creative, box-to-box midfielder like Eriksen is certainly not a priority for the Red Devils given that they will also need to bring in a defensive-minded holding midfielder. There is, however, a player out there who is a bit of both rolled into one, and he is available for just €30 million.

Amadou Haidara
© IMAGO – Amadou Haidara

Man Utd should look at Haidara

RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara is currently in the news as he has just extended his contract with the Red Bulls until 2026. The 26-year-old’s new deal contains a €30m release clause which, despite the extension, will make him an intriguing summer option for Europe’s big clubs.

Haidara is a defensive-minded box-to-box midfielder, who is usually responsible for making sure that RB Leipzig don’t overcommit bodies in the attack, with his midfield partner Xaver Schlager more involved in the attack. Despite this, Haidara actually puts up okay offensive numbers.

More importantly, the Malian is a machine when it comes to defending even though he isn’t a traditional holding midfielder. Haidara ranks well in tackles, interceptions and aerial duels despite not being particularly tall. Intriguingly, data analytics firm SciSports believe that the 26-year-old would immediately become one of Man Utd’s best midfielders and he would be a good fit for them as per their Career Advice tool.

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Amadou Haidara vs Christian Eriksen vs Kobbie Mainoo
© SciSports

Haidara is rated higher than the likes of Eriksen and Sofyan Amrabat and is only marginally worse than Mount. Crucially, Haidara could fill a dual role at Old Trafford. He could deputise for Casemiro as the Red Devils’ defensive midfielder, but he would also be able to come in and take the pressure off young Kobbie Mainoo as the shuttler between defence and attack.

The acquisition of Haidara could furthermore enable Ten Hag to tweak his tactics and perhaps take a page out of Leipzig’s book. The Red Bulls don’t play with a traditional holding midfielder at all and Man Utd could perhaps do the same by employing Haidara alongside Mainoo in a post-Casemiro age.

Haidara would be a much shrewder acquisition for Man Utd than Dani Olmo, who is supposedly now being looked at by the Red Devils. Moreover, the Mali international would only cost about half of what they would have to shell out on the Spaniard.

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