Dries Mertens, the Belgian forward is touted to make a move to Manchester United. Manchester United are keen to bolster their offensive department, and Mertens is seen as the ideal candidate considering that he is well adept in playing from the right-flank.
United lack proper right-wingers on their roster, and Jose Mourinho is looking to balance the attack by adding a player who possesses the required qualities to play from the wing. Mertens, who is a 31-year-old, was impressive in the recently concluded World Cup.
Dries Mertens: Player Profile and how will he affect the team’s playing style and formation
Mertens is capable of playing anywhere around the attacking line and is a valuable option to have in the squad. His versatility means that he could function as the sole striker or the secondary forward, as his technical attributes are well developed as such. Mertens has a good first touch, and he could play both as an inverted winger, as well as the traditional wide player.
He tends to cut in from the flank to square up the ball for the forward, as his passing and the ability to cut open the opposition’s backline with well-timed through balls add another dimension to his game. Overall, he has a mean cross in his arsenal, as Mertens’ quick burst of pace and commendable footwork means that he tricks his adversary to deliver accurate crosses into the box.
Moreover, Mertens is quite mobile, as his change of pace and a silky touch means that he gets himself into goal-scoring positions regularly. He is a good finisher, as Mertens’ composure in front of the goal helps him finish off chances clinically.
The 31-year-old is a good option to have in set-pieces as his long-range shooting, and crossing technique allows him to create chances through free kicks and corners. He can score an occasional screamer, thread accurate passes and is a workhorse while playing through the flanks. Mertens’ work-rate is appreciable, as he provides cover for his fullbacks and never shies away from his defensive duties. His experience allows him to be more comprehensive in front of the goal.
Mertens scored 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 Serie A matches last season. However, he was usually functioning through the centre, and that would probably not be the case if he joins United. The Belgian can work in tandem with Romelu Lukaku like they did in the World Cup.
Undoubtedly, Mertens would be an excellent addition to the squad. However, currently he is 31 years of age, and the board could have some doubts regarding his longevity in the United shirt. Nevertheless, he could bring more balance and cohesion in attack, and hence this deal should materialize from both the manager and the team’s perspective.