According to reports in The Sun over the past day, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has increased his interest in signing Borussia Dortmund teenage sensation Ousmane Dembele.
The report alleges that Mourinho is willing to test the German side’s ability to cling onto the highly-rated youngster, with the United manager happy to pay a suspected £50 million transfer fee.
The 19-year-old turned down the opportunity to move to Old Trafford last summer, instead moving to Dortmund from French side Rennes, but Mourinho is set to try again in this transfer window.
What could Dembele bring to Old Trafford?
One of the hottest prospects in Europe at the moment, Dembele has burst on to the season at Borussia Dortmund this year and made the footballing world sit up and take notice.
The 19-year-old has played a huge role in a youthful Dortmund outfit this season, making 27 Bundesliga appearances and starting all nine of their Champions League matches so far this year.
Eight goals across 36 matches – six in the Bundesliga and two in Europe – doesn’t do the youngster justice after a string of exceptional performances, and at only 19-years-old he’s got bags of potential.
Generally deployed in a front three, Dembele operates best in a wide position – such as Mourinho’s customary formation this season – and not many players around can rival how quick he is with his feet when facing a defender, possessing the natural dribbling ability to get out of any tricky scenario.
For a 19-year-old his maturity is also far ahead of what it should be; whereas Marcus Rashford is still lacking a clinical edge in the final third and often tries one dribble too many, Dembele has the prowess to know when to release the ball – as a tally of 15 assists suggests across his 36 matches.
It’s not like he’s just showing his potential against the lesser sides of the Bundesliga either as he’s been terrorising defences in the Champions League, currently sitting third in the assist chart behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar ahead of Dortmund’s crucial second-leg against Monaco later tonight.
Could a move to England signal the end for Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial?
If a move for Ousmane Dembele were to come to fruition for Jose Mourinho then it could spell the start of an uncertain period of time for current players Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
Although Lingard recently signed a new four-year deal at Old Trafford worth £100,000-a-week, with Rashford, Dembele and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the ranks it could signal the end for the two wingers.
Martial in particular could be left with no choice but to find a new club; seemingly the least trusted wide option this season with only twelve starts in the Premier League, his fall from grace after an exciting first season in England could be completed if United opt to add another winger to the squad.
Lingard’s inconsistency provides a conundrum over his future as, despite given more than enough opportunities to impress by Mourinho this season, he just seems to be lacking that star quality.
It’s clear to see that, in Martial’s case especially, his confidence has been shot this season; during his cameo against Anderlecht last week he looked devoid of ideas and failed to make any impact at all.
Is a move away from Borussia Dortmund likely?
The main reason that Dembele thwarted interest from Premier League sides last year was because he believed that Borussia Dortmund would provide the best chance of first-team development, and twelve months further down the line it would come as a huge surprise if he opted to leave Germany.
Now established as a first-team regular, and playing guaranteed Champions League football, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason as to why he would make the move to Old Trafford so soon.
It’s expected that Dortmund themselves wouldn’t be willing to let the teenager leave either, but an offer in the right region from Manchester United could always prove to be too tempting to turn down.
It’s perhaps one of the more unlikely rumours to happen – a move for Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann should be the focus for United – but as they say in football, you can never say never.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Indolivescore.