Manchester United face stiff competition for two of the French league’s most talented young defenders.
The team from Old Trafford have been regularly linked with defenders since the start of the season. Only Antwerp have conceded more than the 14 goals United have let in, in just five Champions League games this season, as they have been brutally exposed in Europe.
Names such as Jean-Clair Todibo, Goncalo Inacio and Robin Le Normand are three of numerous ones linked to the club in regard to centre backs. The team have also been heavily credited with interest in right backs with Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong consistently being mentioned.
Although, it appears the Old Trafford side may be interested in young players to fill said positions. According to teamtalk.com, both Leny Yoro and Tiago Santos have wowed an impressive range of scouts from the Premier League due to their showings in Ligue 1 and the Europa Conference League.
Despite the French team’s inexperience, they are fourth in the league and top of their Conference League group. The team also boasts the second best defensive record in the competition with only 11 goals conceded. This is the second best record in France, alongside Paris Saint-Germain.
However, it is two of Lille’s younger players in particular who are “beginning to attract interest from England’s elite” and scouts are being “driven wild” by the two youngsters. Here is a look at the two players.
Yoro is an 18 year old centre back who has played 12 times in Ligue 1 this season and even represented the French Under 21 side. The defender has “received glowing reports” from English scouts this season according to teamtalk.com. All of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham are said to be keeping tabs on the starlet.
The young French defender has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.08 and averages 3.9 ball recoveries and 3.2 clearances a game. The centre back also only has a contract until the end of the 2024/25 season, so interested teams could be ready to pounce.
The next young Lille defender to impress Premier League scouts is Santos. The right back is 21 years old and has made 11 starts for the Ligue 1 side this season. Like Yoro, he has also represented his under 21 nation, Portugal.
Fichajes.net claims that United, Liverpool and Chelsea have all watched and been made aware of the player’s talent. It is claimed by the Spanish outlet that United are keen to strengthen their defence and Santos’ youth and talent could see him compete with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and even be an upgrade.
The player has also impressed this season with an average Sofascore rating of 7.15. Santos also put in an impressive 8.1 rated display last month against Lyon, where he even scored a goal.
The article claims that the French side may be tempted to sell the Portuguese player but with the defender tied down to a recently signed five year deal, the club is absolutely under no pressure to sell.
All in all, it is unlikely that United would look to sign such inexperienced players to bolster the defence and would most likely choose more established names to get more instant results. However, it is always plausible that the side from Old Trafford will have interest in these players in the future if they continue to progress as they have been doing this campaign.