Ibrahim Sangaré to Manchester United — A make or break deal?

With Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, and Christian Eriksen in the books, the next reasonable step for United’s board is to bolster other areas of the squad and next up could be Ibrahim Sangaré. As always, there are differing views on the next player to buy–– some people believe a striker should be a priority; others disagree, opting for a defensive midfielder or right-back. Whatever opinion you have, the United manager, Erik ten Hag, is committed to bringing the best hands for the job.

The tradition of United getting linked to several players during transfer windows does not seem to end anytime soon. Over 20 players have ‘reportedly’ been on United’s radar this window; one of them is Sangaré. Per Rudy Galetti, an Italian journalist and broadcaster, Manchester United are in the race to sign the Ivorian for around £35/40 million. So let’s take a look at the player.

Who is Ibrahim Sangaré ?

He is a 24-year-old Ivorian who plays as a defensive midfielder for PSV Eindhoven and Cote d’ Ivoire. Additionally, Sangaré began his career at Ivory Coast, playing for Tout Puissant Koumassi and AS Denguélé at the youth level. In 2016, he joined Toulouse and stayed till 2020, when he officially signed a 5-year deal with PSV Eindhoven. Of course, eyes are on the Ivorian defensive midfielder this transfer window; it must be due to some qualities he possesses. Let’s look at them.

Top clubs are interested in Sangaré. (Photo by talkSPORT)

Defensive abilities

Sangaré showed a bit of character among other midfielders last season. Like any traditional defensive midfielder, his ball-winning abilities are off the charts. He made 95 tackles, ranking second in the Eredivisie. In other words, he averaged 3.6 tackles every 90 minutes, recording 77% tackle success. When you compare his tackling rate with United’s ‘defensive’ midfielders, he stands tall – literally.

Apart from Sangaré’s precise tackles last season, he ranked first regarding interceptions with 74 in total. This means that per 90 minutes, he averaged 2.8 interceptions, outperforming Fred and McTominay. In addition, the Ivorian won 214 ground and aerial duels, ranking 3rd among other midfielders last season.

Finally, Ibrahim Sangaré won possession in the attacking third 30 times, ranking second the previous season. No doubt, he is an exceptional and solid DM. However, Ten Hag’s style of play is fluid and possession-based; this requires midfielders to possess ball-playing abilities. So how good is Sangaré on the ball?

Sangaré made 95 tackles last season. (Photo by Sky sports)

Sangare’s ball-playing abilities

Ibrahim Sangaré has improved on the ball over time. Last season, he completed 1,747 passes (86%), placing him 3rd among his counterparts. However, the Ivorian is more suited to short passes. Nevertheless, he is a good long-range passer, completing 63% of the ones he attempted last season.

On the other hand, the Ivorian defensive midfielder completed close to 70% of attempted take-ons last season; he is an adept dribbler. Likewise, his positional awareness and decision-making off and on the ball are pretty good.

Sangaré completed 86% of attempted passes last season. (Photo by Sporting Life)

The takeaway

Having examined a few abilities Ibrahim Sangaré possesses, buying him for £35-40 million might be a steal. Although he is excellent and possesses the aura of a natural defensive midfielder, he still has to improve some aspects of his game. No cause for alarm! Ten Hag will be up to the task, should United seal the deal. Is Sangaré a ‘Ten Hag’ material? What do you think?

Author: Eghons Azeke

My name is Eghonghon. I am a fun-loving, hardworking and self-motivated writer who supports the biggest club in the world!

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