Benjamin Pavard

Manchester United are one of the teams monitoring Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, according to L’Equipe, as Erik ten Hag continues to look for defensive reinforcements.

Man Utd’s new head coach has already added Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia, both of whom have joined him in making the switch from the Eredivisie to the Premier League, but more could be on their way.

Right-back is deemed an area of concern, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka not suiting the possession style of football Ten Hag wants to play. As a result, Diogo Dalot has featured regularly in pre-season, while Jonathan Clauss was linked before agreeing to join Marseille.

Now it looks as though Pavard is another name that has entered the fray for Man Utd, but it may not be as a replacement for Wan-Bissaka. That is because the Frenchman insists he wants to play centre-back.

Although he’s played the majority of the past three years at right-back, at both club and country level, Pavard is naturally a centre-back. It’s in this position that Bayern spotted him at Stuttgart, and he’s previously stated that he wants to play centrally.

He told French outlet RMC: “I can help out on the right flank, but my position is central defender. I want to play central defender because that’s my position since the U19s. I feel very comfortable and fulfilled in this position.”

While he may start at right-back on the team-sheet at Bayern, with their system, Pavard naturally drops deeper and more centrally anyway in order to allow Alphonso Davies to fly forward on the left, essentially creating a back three at times.

This is where he is most comfortable, and arguably where his best qualities are shown. As a player with a background of playing centre-back, Pavard’s attacking attributes aren’t as strong as his fellow Bayern full-back Davies’. His tally of just one Bundesliga assist last season is testament to that.

With the addition of Noussair Mazraoui, Pavard will likely become Bayern’s back-up right-back, which isn’t a scenario he’ll want to be in given it’s not even his preferred position.

So, if Man Utd sign him it may not be to replace Wan-Bissaka, but Maguire instead.

Pavard to replace Maguire instead of Wan-Bissaka?
FootballTransfers have reported that Maguire is among the players that Man Utd may opt to sell in 2023, suggesting that Pavard could be seen as a long-term replacement for the England international.

Furthermore, with Maguire likely to shift over to the right following Martinez’s arrival, his role in the team could be naturally replaced by Pavard if the Frenchman’s wish to play centre-back is granted.

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