Rojo v reported £18m United target Miranda – Who has been better?

Marcos Rojo - Portugal Vs Argentina, 9th February 2011

Manchester United have been linked with Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda.

According to The Express, Manchester United have been linked with an £18 million January move for Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda.

The 30-year-old centre-back was heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils over the summer following a fantastic campaign in the Spanish capital.

A potential deal, however, never materialised despite United’s need for new faces at the back due to the summer departures of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.

This season, United’s defence frailties have been well documented, and it is expected that boss Louis Van Gaal will look to add a new defender during the January transfer window.

As a result of the speculation, we take a look at Miranda’s performances this season up against Marcos Rojo – arguably United’s best defender since joining the club from Sporting Lisbon on 19 August.

  TeamTackles WonInterceptions WonEffective Clearances Outfield BlocksFouls CommittedPass CompletionAppearancesMins Played
Miranda Atletico 1.9 1.3 3.4 0.8 0.9 78.1% 8 720
Marcos Rojo Man Utd 1.17 3.33 6.17 0.33 1.17 86.6% 6 540

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, both defenders have excelled in different areas for their respective teams.

United’s Argentina ace has provided an average of 3.33 interceptions and 6.17 tackles per Premier League outing – beating that of Miranda’s averages in La Liga.

The Brazilian defender, however, outdoes his fellow South American in tackles won (1.9) and outfield bocks (0.8) while also committing fewer fouls – 0.9 per game in comparison to Rojo’s average of 1.17.

One area where Rojo comes out on top is in his distribution from the back, completing 86.6% of his intended passes whereas Miranda scores lower at 78.1%.

From looking at the stats, it appears that both players would complement each other quite well as Rojo could act as a ball-playing sweeper whereas Miranda is more of a straight tackling type defender.

Whether Van Gaal would be prepared to pay a hefty sum for a 30-year-old, however, remains a different matter as the Dutchman may feel there is better value for money elsewhere.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch