How reported United target Miranda compares with Van Gaal’s current defenders

Atletico Madrid

With Atletico Madrid's Miranda once again linked with a move to Manchester United, we assess the statistics.

According to The Mirror, Atletico Madrid are prepared to sell Brazilian international and Manchester United target Miranda in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils were keen to secure the 31-year-old’s services almost eight months ago, but the La Liga champions refused to let him go for less than his €30million (£21.9m) release clause.

Nonetheless, Miranda’s contract expires in the summer of 2016 and it now seems the club would rather sell him than extend that deal.

With AS suggesting the Brazilian’s agent is still in touch with representatives from United, a deal could be agreed come the end of the current campaign.

Season stats per Appearance  TeamPass Accuracy (%)TacklesAerial WonFouls CommittedInterceptionsBlocksClearancesError Lead To ShotAppearances
Miranda Atletico 75 1.53 1.82 0.88 1.47 0.47 4.82 0.18 17

On first reflection, there seems little doubt that Miranda would represent a significant coup for the Red Devils. After all, his experience alone would be provide a considerable boost.

Since moving to Madrid from Sao Paulo in 2011, he has won the Europa League, Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Supercopa Espana and La Liga, while he also has a runners-up medal in Europe’s most-coveted competition, the Champions League.

However, when compared to Louis van Gaal’s current selection of central defenders, it is surprisingly difficult to see him improving the Dutchman’s current starting line-up.

Indeed, in terms of his record across his 17 appearances for the season, he is bettered in all key defensive areas.

Season stats per Appearance  TeamPassing Accuracy (%)TacklesAerial WonFouls CommittedInterceptionsBlocksClearancesError Lead To ShotAppearances
Chris Smalling Man Utd 89 1.28 2.67 0.89 2 0.56 6.11 0.06 18
Marcos Rojo Man Utd 86 2.44 2.89 1.11 2.67 0.39 7.06 0.22 18
Phil Jones Man Utd 86 2.12 1.88 1.18 3.59 0.35 6.88 0 17
Jonny Evans Man Utd 85 2.31 1.62 0.54 1.92 0.38 4.85 0.31 13

The Brazilian has been out-tackled by Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, while both Chris Smalling and Rojo have found success in more aerial duels per appearance.

Furthermore, when it comes to the number of interceptions and clearances made in each match, Miranda finds himself outclassed by each of United’s first-choice centre-backs, while Smalling betters him for blocks made.

Another alarming statistic, that perhaps suggests Van Gaal should avoid the Atletico veteran, is his passing-success rate. At just 75% for the season, he ranks substantially lower than Evans (85%) – United’s weakest player in this area.

It’s of common belief that the Red Devils are lacking an authoritative defender, capable of commanding the back-four, but the evidence suggests Louis van Gaal should veto the opportunity to sign Miranda should he become available in the near future.

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