Would Seamus Coleman be a good signing for Manchester United?

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Seamus Coleman is one of the best right-backs in the Premier League. The Republic of Ireland international may be 28 years of age, but he is still going strong and remains a key player in the current Everton team.

Signed from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000 in 2009, Coleman has established himself as one of the most consistent and hard-working right-backs in the Premier League. In fact, one could even claim that the player is one of the best in his position in the whole of Europe.

It is a surprise that Coleman is still at Everton. Make no mistake, the Toffees are a massive club and have a rich history, but the Irishman is good enough to play for a title-chasing team. Perhaps it is because most of the top teams, such as Arsenal and Liverpool in England, already have established and proven right-backs.

While Chelsea and Manchester City could do with someone of Coleman’s experience in the squad, perhaps the side that need him most is Manchester United. The Republic of Ireland international was linked with a move to United in the summer of 2015 when Louis van Gaal was in charge, but nothing materialised. The right-back has been linked with the Red Devils again this January, with his odds of lining up for the Old Trafford outfit now only 1/3.

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Goodison Park walls” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

Antonio Valencia is United’s first-choice right-back at the moment. The 31-year-old, who is a right-winger by trade, has featured in 19 Premier League matches for Jose Mourinho’s side so far this season. The performances of the Ecuador international have not been exactly great, but he has been pretty consistent.

Valencia has created 21 chances, has a pass accuracy of 87% and a shot accuracy of 100%, and has won 13 headers, 31 dribbles and 33 tackles. While the former Villarreal and Wigan Athletic man has proven to be a decent right-back for United, it would be wise of the Red Devils to sign a player who is a natural for that position. Enter Coleman.

United do have a natural right-back in Matteo Darmian, but manager Mourinho does not seem to fancy the 27-year-old who joined the Red Devils from Torino in the summer of 2015 for £12.7 million. The Italy international has played in only 10 Premier League matches so far this campaign and has been linked with a move to Serie A outfit Juventus in the January transfer window. Given the current situation, it would make sense for the Manchester club to make a move for Coleman.

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pitch of old trafford” (CC BY 2.0) by nyaa_birdies_perch

The Premier League title is now probably beyond the reach of United, but they can certainly finish in the top four this season. Signing a natural and experienced right-back such as Coleman is only going to enhance the Red Devils’ chances of playing in the Champions League during the 2017-18 campaign.

Coleman is an all-round right-back. He can defend well and can also go on attacking runs. The Irishman has the perfect balance between defence and attack and does not take unnecessary risks. A player blessed with energy and skills, Coleman is actually very underrated and perhaps under-appreciated.

The Everton defender has already scored four goals in the Premier League this season. During the 2015-16 campaign, the right-back scored just once in the league, but he created 17 chances. Back in 2014-15, the 28-year-old scored three goals and created 34 chances in 35 league games for the Toffees.

Everton are a hugely ambitious club and are in the running to finish seventh in the Premier League this term. Given that Coleman is playing well under manager Ronald Koeman and the Toffees would not be willing to part company with such an influential player in the January transfer window, United may have to wait until the summer.

Would it be worth the wait? Certainly. At the age of 28, Coleman is not going to be a long-term signing, but he would clearly be a better option that Darmian, who is already 27. The Everton right-back would provide a quick short-term fix and would allow United to search for an apprentice. Imagine Coleman as a right-back next season and an 18-year-old academy product his deputy, with Valencia also in the frame…

Coleman has been playing in the Premier League for almost a decade, and his experience would be invaluable for United next season. The Republic of Ireland international would be good value for money and would guarantee success. True, playing for United is different to playing for Everton – there is more pressure, more media coverage and more fans to satisfy – but Coleman’s consistency and ability should be enough to see him succeed at Old Trafford.

Moreover, signing Coleman from Everton would also weaken the Toffees. The Merseyside outfit may not be in a position to challenge for the league, but next season onwards they will be aiming for a Champions League spot, just as United would. Taking away someone of Coleman’s quality is only going to make it harder for Koeman’s side to compete with the likes of United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Coleman is not the only signing that United need to make in the summer transfer window. Recruiting a centre-back would also be a good idea. Someone like Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk or Aleksandar Dragovic of Bayer Leverkusen would certainly enhance the quality of the current squad, and so would Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.

The Premier League giants should perceive the 2016-17 season as something to build on for the 2017-18 campaign in which they should go full throttle for the Premier League title. Mourinho would become wiser after this season and would realise the positions he needs to reinforce in the summer transfer window. United showed in the summer of 2016 that they can still attract top-quality players without Champions League football when they signed Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. What the Red Devils need is consistency and some fine-tuning. If they are able to do that, then the world would be their oyster.

By Matt Blanchard