Why De Vrij would help to solve Manchester United's defensive woes

Old Trafford Interior

Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij, who is being tracked by Manchester United, has said he will probably leave the Dutch club this summer.

Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij, who is being tracked by a host of Premier League teams including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United, has recently suggested that he will leave the Dutch club in the upcoming transfer window.

The Red Devils remain the favourites to sign the youngster, mainly because of his relationship with incoming manager Louis Van Gaal. He was given his Holland debut by the 62 year-old and it is thought the new Manchester United boss may try to secure his services ahead of next season.

The 22-year-old has a flourishing reputation as one of the most promising defenders in Europe, and despite being just 22 years of age, he has established himself as a mainstay in the Rotterdam side’s defence, accumulating five years’ worth of experience in the Dutch top flight.

After the Red Devils allowed long-serving duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to leave the club on free transfers this summer, the starting eleven has been left needing replacements required in defence; De Vrij could be seen as a perfect signing.

The young Dutchman has won an impressive 56% (58) of his attempted tackles last season, recording an average of 1.81 challenges per match. Of the club’s current central-defenders (Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans) only Smalling found himself more frequently successful when attempting to dispossess an opponent.

De Vrij contributed with nine defensive actions per match, a total inferior to only Jonny Evans, as Feyenoord climbed to second place in the Dutch top flight. He weighed in with an impressive 207 clearances, 63 interceptions and 17 blocks throughout the season.

The Dutchman’s ability to read the game at just 22 years of age is admirable, as is his discipline when in possession. Throughout the most recent campaign he registered a passing accuracy of 87% and a take on success rate of 94%. He has displayed a fantastic ability to carry the ball out from the defensive third at both club and international level.

The Feyenoord-man has also proven his proficiency with the ball off the floor, winning 59% of his total aerial duels. Only Chris Smalling has emerged victorious from headed challenges on more occasions, yet only one victory separates the De Vrij from the Englishman.

With an impressive record behind him, the 22-year-old could make a real impression in the Premier League if a move to Old Trafford materialises. He looks to be an exceptional prospect, and with an entire career to maximise his potential, he could establish himself as the stalwart at the heart of the future Manchester United back-four.

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