How Manchester United could line up with Eduardo Camavinga transfer
Man Utd are keeping an eye on Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga ahead of a possible move in the summer transfer window
Manchester United are keeping tabs on Rennes starlet Eduardo Camavinga as they weigh up a move for a new midfielder this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already bolstered his side with the addition of Jadon Sancho and is keen to sign at least one new centre-back, while there is also interest in potentially signing a new midfielder too.
Camavinga, 18, is one such player under consideration and is reputedly available for €30million (£25.7m) given he is out of contract at Rennes next summer.
Declan Rice remains the top midfield target for United though French youngster Camavinga could prove to be a steal at roughly a quarter of the price.
But just how would he fit into the United side?
As soon as the words 'defensive midfielder' are muttered it is Pavlovian response to immediately envisage a player who sits alone in front of the back-four and clears all danger on their own.
Camavinga isn't in that mould yet and so would be better suited to the deep-lying role as part of a two-man midfield as opposed to being the sole defensive anchor.
The French youngster made 39 appearances for Rennes last season, though only four of them actually came in a recognised defensive midfield role as the lone deep-lying option.
Instead the bulk of his appearances, 34 to be precise, came as a central midfielder, with one solitary performance as a makeshift attacking midfielder thrown in.
Former Stoke and Blackburn midfielder Steven Nzonzi instead occupied the deeper role with Camavinga playing on the right side of midfield alongside Clement Grenier.
On occasion Camavinga would drop into a deep-lying midfield two alongside Nzonzi with Grenier utilised as an attacking midfielder, which is perhaps the most likely role he would occupy at Old Trafford.
No matter who arrives this summer Bruno Fernandes will be the main attacking midfield option, with Paul Pogba likely to be forced into a deeper role given the lack of a standout defensive midfield option.
Even if his compatriot Camavinga were to arrive it would be far too big an ask for the teenager to occupy a solitary role, instead he would need to be used as part of a two with either Pogba, Fred or Scott McTominay for company.
The teenager still has work to do in regards to his impact as a defensive rock but encouragingly he managed to win 49.1 per cent of duels last season and recorded an impressive 224 recoveries of the ball in the opposition half.
But it can't be ignored Camavinga operates better higher up the pitch, something which is helped greatly by his exquisite passing range and a rapidly developing dribbling ability. He finished last season with a 91.4 per cent passing accuracy for Rennes, 71.9 per cent in regards to his long balls alone.
It means Camavinga can effectively operate as a deep-lying playmaker too and his distribution could be a key asset in getting the ball to the likes of Fernandes and Jadon Sancho in attacking areas.
At such a tender age it is clear the teenager would need to be used as part of a pairing if he were to have an impact at United next season, while despite his achievements at Rennes, there is also reason to believe he wouldn't start regularly under Solskjaer.
In the long run Camavinga could well transform into the ideal defensive midfield option for United but right now he'd need further support to actually be effective from the get go.
Possible United XI with Camavinga transfer: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; McTominay, Camavinga, Fernandes; Sancho, Pogba, Cavani.