Lamela case suggests United should be careful in Atletico winger approach

Old Trafford

Amid reports linking Atletico Madrid's Alessio Cerci with a switch to Manchester United, the Old Trafford faithful should be careful what they wish for.

The Express have reported that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has entered the race for Italian Alessio Cerci, who is no longer wanted at Atletico Madrid, despite only arriving in the summer.

Cerci is already being linked with a move away from the Vicente Caldron, having struggled to adapt to life in Spain, and consequently, the Spanish outfit are willing to let the winger leave for the price they paid for him only a few months ago, with the Red Devils one of many Premier League clubs to be interested in securing his signature. 

The Spanish champions signed the former Torino man for a reported £13 million fee after boss Diego Simeone insisted on his arrival as competition for fellow striker Mario Mandzukic.

Nonetheless, since moving to La Liga his involvement in the first team has been restricted to just four substitute appearances.

Prior to his move, the versatile attacker reportedly held talks with Manchester United before opting for a switch to Spain and it's believed that the Red Devils once again lead the queue for the 27-year-old's services.

While Cerci boasts a very respectable goal scoring record from his time in Serie A - he scored 13 goals in 37 domestic appearances last term - there's little evidence to suggest he could replicate this form in the English top flight. 

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela, for example, made a high profile switch to the Premier League having impressed in Italy, yet his form has been less than inspiring.

Considering he scored 15  league goals in his final season with AS Roma, his current goal tally for Spurs - zero to date - is somewhat underwhelming. 

Erik Lamela Tottenham 2013-2014 0 9
Erik Lamela Tottenham 2014-2015 0 11

In fact, there are very few modern success stories from players making the move Serie A to England.

While Louis van Gaal is on the prowl for better options out wide, Cerci would certainly represent a risk.

The Atletico forward is a proven goalscorer in his native country, yet there's every chance he could struggle to adapt to the Premier League, just like so many have done before him.  

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch