Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan, has reportedly agreed a deal with Manchester United according to the Metro.
The 27-year-old Argentine, who knows Angel di María from the national team has been linked with Manchester United on numerous of occasions since 2012. Gaitan’s representative Jose Irribaren said: “Everything is possible, there is a deal with Manchester United. The will of the player is that everything goes well.” If a deal for Nicolas Gaitan happens, he would become Manchester United’s second signing of the summer after PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay.
A capable, exciting player
Gaitan can use both feet, has close control in tight spaces and is skilful. Gaitan joining United would seem like a weird transfer on the surface. Manchester United have already signed a winger (Depay for £25m). Also, The Red Devils have already got plenty of squad depth in that position – with di María, Juan Mata and Ashley Young if he does sign he must be prepared to fight for a place in the starting line-up.
Di María started well well in the Premier League last season but quickly picked up injuries. A break-in at his home also appeared to damage his form. The talented winger has been linked with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain this summer, so Gaitan may be replacing Di María, unlikely as it seems.
Gaitan had an impressive season for Benfica in 2014/15 this season, in the Portuguese League he has played 27 matches – netted four goals and notched up an impressive 15 assists. Gaitan’s main position is on the left wing, but he can also play in other positions such as the opposite wing and in a more advanced attacking midfield role. Since his move from Boca Juniors, Gaitan has consistently recorded double figures in contributing to The Eagles in the league with goals and assists.
What could he bring?
Gaitan can bring in many benefits to the style of Manchester United’s play. For instance he can bring fluid football into Manchester United’s game, Gaitan linking up with the likes of Angel Di María and Juan Mata in a possible 4-2-3-1 formation. Although he normally plays on the wide in the game, allowing him to play in the CAM role will let him play to the best of his abilities which include superb ball control and top notch through balls. One of the problems the club faced last year was very limited creativity and sending too many long balls up to Marouane Fellaini, which only paid off a couple of times.
One big weakness to Gaitan’s game is tracking back. Louis van Gaal expects every player – regardless of their position – to cover their defensive duties. This is demonstrated by Juan Mata and Ashley Young working until the last second of the game, when the team loses the ball in the middle of the pitch. If he doesn’t work on this, it’s unlikely van Gaal would start him and risking being hit on the counter attack without enough players back defending.
Gaitan has a contract with the Portuguese giants until the 2018, and has a buy-out clause of €35million euros (£25m) a fee that wouldn’t be problematic for Manchester United. If Nicolas Gaitan signs would he be a replacement for Di María or take a supporting role?