Lyon right-back Malo Gusto was linked with a summer switch to Manchester United and since then he has been producing eye-catching numbers.
L’Equipe reported in August that the Red Devils were interested in signing the French youngster.
Diogo Dalot is undeniably Erik ten Hag’s first-choice right-back, but it has become abundantly clear that the former Ajax boss doesn’t rate Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Despite being signed for £50m from Crystal Palace three years ago, United’s number 29 is out of favour under the Dutchman and seemingly doesn’t possess the technical qualities to be a big hit at Old Trafford.
Although there was interest from the likes of West Ham United and his former club Palace during the summer transfer window, Wan-Bissaka remains a Manchester United player.
Malo Gusto who was linked with summer switch to Manchester United is producing eye-catching numbers
While Dalot is currently in control of the right-back berth, Ten Hag would probably want to add some quality competition to the former Porto man.
With Ethan Laird continuing his development on loan at Championship side Queens Park Rangers, Ten Hag may look to bolster his right-back options in the coming transfer windows.
And after an impressive start to the season, France Under-21 star Gusto will likely catch Ten Hag’s attention if he continues to build on what has been a positive start to the new campaign.
It’s no secret that Ten Hag wants his full-backs to play a pivotal role in our attacking play and be constant outlets.
Like Dalot, Gusto is an attack-minded young right-back whose reputation will likely continue to soar as the season develops.
Across Europe’s top five leagues, only Paris Saint Germain’s midfield maestro Marco Verratti (675) has had more touches than Gusto (648), according to Fbref.
With United possessing a wealth of pace on the counter-attack, Gusto has the speed and ball carrying ability to be an asset in that department as well.
Only Theo Hernandez and Lionel Messi (both 27) have successfully carried the ball into the final third more often than Gusto (26) so far this season.
Like Dalot, Gusto also has one assist to his name this season, and he’s up there with the very best in Europe when putting crosses into the box.
Lyon’s number 27 has made 31 crosses this season, which puts him just behind the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold (32), Kevin de Bruyne (33) and Filip Kostic (34).
Gusto is neck and neck with Alexander-Arnold (both 11) when it comes to crosses into the penalty area.
The teenager is currently averaging more key passes per game (1.9) than his compatriot Kylian Mbappe (1.8), reports WhoScored.
The big question is can he defend as well? Gusto is currently averaging two tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game.
Gusto may be young and raw, but his exciting potential is clear to see.
Ten Hag could provide competition to Dalot by signing Gusto who is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting prospects in European football.
Gusto’s Lyon contract expires in the summer of 2024 and with the Ligue 1 giants not being in Europe this season, they could be tempted to cash in on one of their prized assets.
United would be signing an unknown quantity, but it would be exciting to see us be proactive in the market and beating the rest of Europe’s big clubs to signing a young prospect, instead of being reactive and targeting Gusto when he has already made a prior big move.