Argentine rock proves Manchester United missed out on €6m bargain

Ezequiel Garay for Benfica

Former Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay was outstanding for Argentina.

Former Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay was a rock for Argentina as the South Americans held off Belgium to reach the World Cup semi-final.

The 27-year-old centre-back was strongly linked with a move to The Red Devils for the best part of a year as the Old Trafford outfit bid to replace the out-going Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Standing at 6ft 2inch, the defender is excellent in the air whilst possessing a South American swagger of bringing the ball out of defence with incredible ease.

He would have undoubtedly been an excellent signing for Van Gaal’s men, though that ship has now well and truly sailed as Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg stole a march and signed him from Benfica for a bargain €6 million fee.

To make matters worse for United, the club are still in the hunt for a new centre-back whilst Ezequiel Garay is proving how good he is on the biggest stage of all.

During Argentina’s 1-0 win over Belgium in the quarter-final stage, the former Benfica man was a colossal at the back and deservedly won the MOTM award for an outstanding performance.

  TeamPosWon TackleInterception WonTotal ClearanceAerial WonAerial LostError Lead To ShotAppsMins
Ezequiel Garay Argentina DF 1 6 11 4 1 0 1 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Garay certainly proved his worth and more.

He made a total of one tackle, six interceptions and 11 effective clearances as he had to deal with the strength and pace of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku and previously before that Divock Origi.

Towards the end, Belgium pushed both Fellaini and Van Buyten up yet both were outdone by the classy defender. Garay won four aerial battles in comparison to losing just one, and his concentration levels were spot on as he never let up any free opportunities.

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