After several advances to sign Jean-Clair Todibo last summer, The Sun reports that Manchester United are back in the fray to sign the France international as a long-term occupant of United’s right center-back position.
Here’s everything you need to know about Todibo; his strengths, weaknesses, and how he would fit into Manchester United’s squad.
Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils have a long-term option in the 23-year-old Frenchman, who is anticipated to cover for the often-injured Raphael Varane before eventually taking over the position.
To fulfill Erik ten Hag’s vision of making Manchester United “the best transitional team in the world,” the addition of a defender like Jean-Clair Todibo would be invaluable
Todibo’s proactive approach in defensive transitions resulted in 21 counter-pressing recoveries for OGC Nice last season.
His seven high regains leading to a shot showcase his ability to swiftly turn defensive actions into chance-creating opportunities in attack. This skill set aligns with the profile of a transitional defender for Ten Hag’s brand of football.
Manchester United target
Todibo’s speed enables him to launch team attacks from defense. He can outpace the opponent’s press thanks to his quickness with the ball, and his progressive carry distance of 343.75 yards per ninety minutes puts him in the top 3% of defenders in the “Big 5” leagues in Europe.
However, a potential area of concern in Todibo’s game is his aerial ability despite his stature of 190cm.
The France international has won just 1.26 aerial duels per 90 minutes which places him in the bottom 8% of central defenders in Europe’s ‘Big 5,’ with a win rate of only 59.1% in aerial challenges.
Nevertheless, Todibo’s overall game offers numerous positive aspects that align with Ten Hag’s requirements for a center-back. Team Talk recently claimed that Todibo is valued at €40m (£35m) by Nice so he comes within an affordable price.
Although Todibo is currently under contract with Nice until 2027, there’s a growing sense, both within the club and among observers, that 2024 could be the year when Todibo explores new horizons beyond French football.