Manchester United eyeing up Real Sociedad right back Álvaro Odriozola as potential Antonio Valencia replacement – report

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United are keeping a close eye on Real Sociedad right-back Álvaro Odriozola as a potential replacement for Antonio Valencia, according to reports.

Jose Mourinho‘s continued use of Valencia and Young – both 32 years old and wingers by trade – this season has underlined the need for an overhaul in that position over the summer.

Luke Shaw‘s resurgence over December alleviated pressure on Mourinho to sign a full-back in January, but the club remains keen on bolstering that area over the summer.

And according to the Metro, the 55-year-old plans to offload Matteo Darmian – who has only made two Premier League starts all season – and compete with Barcelona to bring Odriozola to the club as cover for Valencia, whose next season at Old Trafford could well be his last.

Odriozola came through the club’s youth system and broke into the first team in January 2016, making 17 appearances during an opening campaign that saw him grow in confidence at Sociedad.

But it has been this season’s efforts responsible yielded attention from outside the Basque region, so much so that he received a call-up to the Spanish national team last October.

The 22-year-old has impressed many through his direct, penetrative, mazy style going forward, mixed with a kind of rancorous energy – almost terrier like – when winning the ball off opponents.

And with Mourinho needing to make more than just one full-back signing in the summer, supporters ought to keep an eye on the youngster’s progress.


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