‘Truly awful’, ‘Please God no!’ – Man United fans blast £50m transfer target’s woeful display

‘Truly awful’, ‘Please God no!’ – Man United fans blast £50m transfer target’s woeful display

By Mark Weasley

Recent media reports suggests Jose Mourinho is looking to sign Jerome Boateng, but the defender didn’t cover himself in glory in Germany’s 2-1 win over Sweden.

Not only did he get himself sent off with a very clumsy challenge while on a yellow card – which could easily have cost his nation a place in the last-16 were it not for Toni Kroos’ dramatic winner – his positioning was suspect for the opposition goal.

Is this a player on which we would want to pay, as other reports have claimed, £50m to Bayern Munich?

There is another perspective. It would be wrong to judge one player too harshly on one game in which other players were at fault: for example, Germany’s full-backs Josh Kimmich and Jonas Hector showed little defensive awareness.

Nobody can play 258 games for Bayern Munich over seven years, win 17 honours including the World Cup and Champions League, claim 11 individual honours and be a bad player: even if he did once play for City.

When we look at our current centre-back options: Victor Lindelöf and Eric Bailly are still learning, even if the latter impressed last term when fit, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones aren’t the most comfortable in possession.

By contrast, Boateng is an attacking centre-back and there can be benefits to that: opposing teams rarely think about having to contain defenders and therefore sometimes they can find more space in the opposing half.

If Mourinho starts to think about defenders in terms of what they can do with the ball as well as their aerial ability and discipline, that could be healthy for the squad’s evolution into the modern game.

There is no denying though that Boateng looked off the pace in that particular match and it is possible that injuries mean he isn’t the same player that was one of the best in world football four years ago.

Here is what some of our fans have tweeted about his performance.

Clearly Mourinho is looking for another centre-back; whether Boateng is the answer remains to be seen.

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