Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby, as Erik ten Hag looks to bolster his attacking options.
The abrupt exit of Cristiano Ronaldo after his explosive sit-down interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month has left Erik ten Hag in desperate need of reinforcements up front. It is believed that Ronaldo will lose around £16m in wages after having his contract terminated by the Red Devils, leaving Ten Hag with some cash to operate in the January transfer window.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Manchester United view Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby as a like-for-like replacement for Anthony Martial, who has failed to live up to the lofty expectations at Old Trafford since arriving from AS Monaco in 2015.
Diaby, 23, has established himself as one of the coveted attacking talents across Europe in the last 15-18 months. The Frenchman has been with Bayer Leverkusen since 2019, contributing 43 goals and 41 assists from 146 appearances in all competitions.
The versatile forward enjoyed a magnificent 2021/22 campaign, and while he has not been able to match his last term’s tally, Diaby has still contributed eight goals and four assists in 22 outings. Thus, it is not surprising to see Diaby on the radar of several top European clubs, the report adds.
Moussa Diaby to Man United—Is he a good replacement for Martial?
Anthony Martial impressed in Manchester United’s pre-season earlier this summer and was seemingly seen as a first-choice striker ahead of Ronaldo by Ten Hag. But injury problems has limited Martial to just five Premier League appearances, in which he has registered two goals and as many assists.
The Frenchman’s persistent injury problems has been a big headache for the Red Devils, and even though Ten Hag rates him highly, the Dutch tactician’s patience is slowly wearing out. Perhaps, this could be Martial’s make-or-break season at Old Trafford as he will have just one year left on his contract next summer.
Ten Hag and United have apparently started scouring the market for attacking reinforcements, with Moussa Diaby the latest player to catch their eye. A youth product of PSG’s academy, Diaby moved to Germany three years ago and has since impressed in Bayer Leverkusen colours.
A right-winger by trade, the 23-year-old is adept at operating on the other flank and through the middle as a false 9 or secondary striker. His pace, directness, dribbling skills and movement make him a genuine threat to the opposition, and his versatility to operate in different attacking positions should hugely benefit Ten Hag’s Man United.
The France international could challenge the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Antony for a place out wide, whilst replacing Martial in the squad at the end of the season if Ten Hag considers letting go of United’s number 9.
Moussa Diaby is a hugely talented player and at 23 can develop even further under Ten Hag at Old Trafford. With the Bayer Leverkusen forward already in high demand, the Red Devils must continue monitoring his progress before lodging a timely bid in the summer.