Why United should avoid signing £20m Atletico Madrid defender in January

Atletico Madrid's Miranda is the latest central defender being linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but is the Brazilian international a worthwhile signing at £20 million?

According to latest reports by the Daily StarManchester United are preparing to test Atletico Madrid's resolve in January by bidding £20 million for first-team centre-back Miranda.

The Brazilian is believed to be one of Louis van Gaal's top January targets, as the Dutch manager seeks an experienced centre-back capable of leading the Red Devils' shaky back-line. 

Miranda has been outstanding for the Spanish capital outfit since his arrival at the Vicente Calderon and played a key role in last season's La Liga success and Champions League final run.

Nonetheless, the statistics from the current domestic campaign do not show the Atletico defender in the best light, especially when compared to those already plying their trade at Old Trafford. 

In terms of interceptions, clearances and tackles (with the exception of Chris Smalling) - the bread and butter of a defender's game - he emerges inferior to those who are currently classed as Van Gaal's 'senior' options, that is, Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. 

  TeamPass Acc (%)Tackles/ AppBlocks/ AppClearances/ AppInterceptions/ AppAerial Won/ AppError Lead To ShotError Lead To GoalAppsMins
Jonny Evans Man Utd 87.1 1.33 1.33 4.67 1 2 1 0 3 210
Phil Jones Man Utd 89.08 2.5 0.75 6.75 5 2 0 0 4 360
Chris Smalling Man Utd 89.92 1 0.6 4.6 1.8 2.4 0 0 5 323
Marcos Rojo Man Utd 86.16 1.14 0.29 5.86 3.29 2.57 2 0 7 596
Miranda Atleti 79.00 1.20 0.60 3.30 1 2.20 2 1 10 900

Even when it comes to aerial duels won per appearance, the La Liga champions is outclassed by Rojo and Smalling. 

Furthermore, his passing accuracy is well below the Manchester United average. Each and every Red Devils defender has averaged a pass completion rate of 86% of greater. Miranda has found success in just 79% of his attempts to find a team-mate. In essence, his distribution is below par.

United's performances have been tarnished by individual errors at the back throughout the opening weeks of the season, and in terms of making mistakes, Miranda has experienced just as torrid-a-time in La Liga. The Brazilian has already been at fault for two opposition opportunities this term - level with Rojo - with one leading to a goal. 

To conclude, the statistics hardly weigh in Miranda's favour, and for a reported £20 million, it's highly unlikely that Van Gaal will be willing to fork out for his services.

With an array of youthful talent at his disposal, the Dutchman is likely to hand these players the opportunity to gain first-team experience.

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