With Ireland international Seamus Coleman among the names being linked to Manchester United during the summer transfer window, we take a look at what the 26 year old former Sligo Rovers full back will offer his perspective suitors.
After Dani Alves rejected the opportunity to join United and signed a new deal with the La Liga giants, Louis van Gaal has been searching for a proven, new right back to join his Old Trafford revolution. The club were heavily linked with Nathaniel Clyne but he has joined rivals Liverpool, meaning the Everton fullback has re-emerged as a target for the three time European Cup winners.
Coleman was linked with a move to Old Trafford during David Moyes’ ill-fated reign, having previously worked with the Scot at Everton, and in fact was man of the match in United’s defeat to the Goodison Park club, in what was Moyes’ final game in charge. He signed a new deal to fend off any interest last summer, but it now appears as if van Gaal has decided that the 26 year old is the right fullback he needs.
Right back has proven a problem position for United over the last couple of seasons as Rafael’s injury problems and inconsistent performances have continued, while Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have shown they are far more comfortable playing in the middle of United’s defence. Antonio Valencia, a winger by trade was used as an emergency right back last season but has never looked at home, dealing with the defensive side of being a top class defender.
This is an area Coleman excels in, while the former League of Ireland man has proven far more effective as an attacking outlet than any of the options used by van Gaal in his solitary season at the club.
Coleman has scored twelve times over the past two seasons, three times as many as Valencia and Rafael combined, while his ability to comfortably work up and down the touchline consistently will endear him to van Gaal instantly. His style, grace and technical ability while in control of the ball will also sit well with the possession based game, the Dutch tactician has implemented into Old Trafford since taking charge.
At 26 the full back, capped 28 times by Ireland is at the right age to make the next step in his football development, and experience Champions League football for the first time in his career. His off field demeanour would suggest he has the cool head on his shoulders needed to succeed at a club like United, while his skill on the pitch will certainly not look out of place at Old Trafford.
Coleman would improve any team in the Premier League, and if Louis van Gaal can manage to secure his signature, he will have pulled off quite a coup for the club, as he sets out trying to build a Manchester United squad capable of challenging for major honours again.