Brendan Rodgers linked with Manchester United job
News has broken over the weekend that will no doubt please Manchester United fans.
The Red Devils have had a dismal 2021/22 to date, with it clear to all that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the club as far as he can.
The former Cardiff City boss did a decent job of steadying the ship at Old Trafford, and bringing a positive attitude back to the dressing room.
But after heavy investment across the pitch, and no trophies or a proper title challenge in nearly three years, it has become clear that Solskjaer’s time at United is likely all but over.
Manchester United currently have arguably their best squad since the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Yet, under Ole, the Reds are floundering in the Premier League, out of the League Cup and likely to be torn apart in the Champions League once they face a top European side.
And whilst Man United’s owners have already, arguably, waited too long to axe Solskjaer, there does appear to be some movement behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
101 covered a report from the Sun on Saturday evening, which claimed that Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers has begun house-hunting in Manchester, having been identified as the club’s no.1 choice to replace Solskjaer.
The Northern Irishman has done a solid job at Leicester over the last several years, securing consistent Europa League football and earning the Foxes an FA Cup trophy earlier this year.
In turn, with United’s squad, on paper, of a higher quality than Leicester’s, it would be interesting to see how far Rodgers could take the Manchester outfit.
If he does take the job, the one-time Liverpool boss could opt to target a number of his former Leicester players to bolster United’s ranks in the future, and 101 have picked out three such potential targets below.
The first and most obvious option is Wilfred Ndidi.
Manchester United are in desperate, desperate need of a proper, young, defensive midfielder who can sit in front of the back-four and break down attacks.
And in Ndidi, they would have exactly that.
Ndidi ranked fourth in the Premier League for tackles made in 2020/21, notching 108. He also made the most tackles of any player in the midfield 3rd last season (49).
Elsewhere, the African ranked fourth overall for most interceptions made, and is the 2nd best midfielder on that list with 62.
So far this term, meanwhile, Ndidi has made the 5th most tackles and interceptions of any midfielder in the English top-flight. (All stats taken from FBREF.)
The second player whom Brendan Rodgers should look to bring to Manchester United is Youri Tielemans.
The Belgian is also a central midfielder, but of a less defensive mindset than Ndidi, operating in more of a box-to-box role.
Granted, Manchester United do already have Scott McTominay and Fred who aim (often unsuccessfully) to perform a similar role.
However, it is pretty clear that Tielemans is of a higher quality than both Red Devils stars, and looks set to be one of the best midfielders in England for the next while.
Despite operating in a fairly deep role, Tielemans has so far scored three and assisted two for Leicester this term, having previously netted the FA Cup final-winning goal earlier this year:
OOHHH YOURI TIELEMANS! 🔥
One of the great #EmiratesFACupFinal goals!
Such a sweet strike into the top corner, and just listen to that roar 😍 pic.twitter.com/QZtg7C4jMe
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 15, 2021
The final player Brendan Rodgers could look to sign from Leicester is Wesley Fofana.
Yes, he is currently out injured, but moves for top players generally happen in the summer transfer window anyway, at which point the stopper should be back fit.
Fofana is one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe at present and, before his injury picked up versus Villarreal, looked set to be one of the Foxes’ starting centre-halves this term.
As such, with Fofana still only 20, Rodgers would likely be able to use the Frenchman as a back-up to key defenders Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane without worrying too much about appeasing star players.
It is also worth noting that Victor Lindelof is currently Manchester United’s third-choice CB, a player whom Fofana would represent a serious upgrade on.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
Manchester United betting odds, next game:
Manchester United's latest videos
Manchester United latest news
Premier League table
|4||West Ham United||13||8||23|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||13||-2||18|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||11|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||9|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||7|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||5|
|Cornet, Maxwel||Burnley FC||5|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||4|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||4|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||4|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||4|
|Benteke, Christian||Crystal Palace||4|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace||4|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||6|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||5|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||5|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||5|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||5|
|Lascelles, Jamaal||Newcastle United||0||5|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||5|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||4|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||0||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||4|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||0||4|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||4|
|Moreno, Rodrigo||Leeds United||0||4|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Normann, Mathias||Norwich City||0||4|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||8|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||3|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Lowton, Matthew||Burnley FC||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||3|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||3|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||3|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||3|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|