Manchester United Considering a January Move for Lyon’s Malo Gusto
Manchester United are reportedly chasing coveted Olympique Lyon right-back Malo Gusto out of Ligue 1. The Red Devils are looking for a right-back to compete with Diogo Dalot for the starting spot.
Erik ten Hag has sidelined Aaron Wan-Bissaka completely with just one appearance for the Manchester club in all competitions, including as a substitute. The Dutch manager has already asked the club to look for suitors for the former Crystal Palace full-back, who is most likely going to be sold in January.
Meanwhile, Diogo Dalot has made the right-back position his own and is a fixture in the starting XI this season. He’s had a fantastic season so far and will probably keep his place. The Dutchman wants to sign a full-back who can compete with the Portuguese defender and act as AWB’s replacement.
As reported by Fichajes (via The Peoples Person), Manchester United have expressed interest in Olympique Lyon defender Malo Gusto. The Premier League side are closely monitoring the defender’s progress at the French club.
Meanwhile, according to 90min’s Graeme Bailey (via Sports Illustrated), the Red Devils are considering making a move for the 19-year-old in January. Erik ten Hag is determined to sign a right-back in the upcoming transfer window to bolster his defence.
However, Manchester United would face competition from Real Madrid, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus – who are also keen on Malo Gusto. Chelsea asked for the player in the last transfer window to relieve Reece James, while Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid side need a long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal.
🚨Real Madrid are ready to compete with Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea for the signing of French full-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.🇫🇷
⬜#HalaMadrid 🟥#MUFC 🟦#CFC ⬜#OIL https://t.co/LCs5aI0WMy pic.twitter.com/3fx1lnbJjR
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) November 19, 2022
Lyon will only ask around €15m to part ways with him, which is quite reasonable in the current transfer market. The Ligue 1 side have had plenty of talent in their squad in recent years with the likes of Nabil Fekir, Lucas Paqueta, Houssem Aouar and Bruno Guimaraes.
What brings Malo Gusto to Manchester United
Malo Gusto has turned into a beast since joining Olympique Lyon seventeen months ago. He made his debut in 2021 at a time when the French side were struggling to finish in the top three in La Liga. Gusto’s consistent performance ensured him ample playing time to develop into a quality full-back.
This season, the France U-21 international has been a regular starter in Lyon’s line-up, making 14 appearances with an assist in the French league (stats via Transfermarkt). He is a team player, which benefited coach Peter Bosz’s possession game.
Gusto has the role of deep holding player. He can expand the space inside in tight situations and is always approachable for his midfielders for short passes or runs into the penalty area. He has a strong first contact and the ability to wiggle his body shape to adapt to awkward passes from teammates.
Malo Gusto vs Marseille
— Subcomandante Marcos (@189NlNE) May 2, 2022
Unlike Dalot and other right-backs in the Premier League, the Frenchman seems to lack the pace when in possession to pass opposing full-backs. His footwork needs improvement if he has to take longer strides while attacking from the flanks.
On a positive note, the French defender is in the ideal physical condition for the Premier League and has protected his goalkeeper with those last few tackles. He sometimes loses his form on defense and might play a weird foul, but other than that he’s pretty solid defensively. He has good weak-footedness and is comfortable to use even in tricky situations, but needs to find the right balance over time.
Gusto needs to work on his crossing technique, which led to Wan Bissaka’s departure from the United line-up. He’s got the curl and height in his flank, but the weight on the ball seems a little more than it needs to be. He is proactive and his positional strength allows him to control counterpressing and intervene quickly.
In one of his recent post-match interviews, Erik ten Hag made it clear that a club like Manchester United, which has been challenging in several competitions throughout the season, will need squad strength in several positions.
Malo Gusto seems to be an exciting talent who brings dynamic qualities while being very technical in his role. He would suit United’s possession-based game but would also improve under Ten hag’s tutelage to transform into a more modern right-back. The player seems to be developing well at Lyon and will only get better with age at his side over the years.
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