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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Man Utd could land Gundogan 2.0 in Sabitzer

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Manchester United are considering making a late swoop for a midfielder in the January transfer window and could prise Marcel Sabitzer away from Bayern Munich‘s clutches in the coming hours…

What’s the word?

According to Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, both United and Chelsea have registered an interest in tying up a deal for the Austrian dynamo in the closing hours of the January transfer window and will “push” to try and get a deal done before the 11pm deadline.

However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano then claimed that while the Blues hold an intrigue in the 28-year-old, their interests lie elsewhere, paving the way for United technical director John Murtough to secure a deal.

With the player himself swiftly expressing his desire to swap Germany for England and try his hand under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, a move might indeed be forthcoming.

Gundogan 2.0

Since signing for Bayern from RB Leipzig, the £212k-per-week midfielder has only scored two goals and assists apiece from 57 appearances, with the lowly return preceded by a closing season with Leipzig that saw him plunder nine goals and seven assists.

Sabitzer was once proclaimed the “heartbeat” of his team by reporter Keith Costigan, and with the 28-year-old ranking within the top 1% of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues for total shots, the top 4% for progressive passes received and the top 2% for tackles, he certainly exudes a well-rounded skill set.

He is listed by FBref as a stylistically comparable player to Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, who has been a stalwart for the Sky Blues since his £21m arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

The Germany midfielder ranks within the top 2% of positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for total shots, the top 11% for rate of goals and the top 10% for shot-creating actions; and if Sabitzer can harness his cutting edge, he could wreak havoc on Premier League defences with a possible move to United.

While Sabitzer has not quite made the impact that he would have initially hoped at the Allianz Arena, he has certainly not been lacklustre. Considering his skill set, he should only enhance United’s fortunes, bringing energy and vibrancy in abundance and becoming the ‘heartbeat’ of an exciting team.

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