October 22, 2021

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Defensive midfielders Manchester United should consider: Joao Palhinha

Defensive midfield is arguably Manchester United’s biggest priority for the upcoming transfer window.

But with reported target Declan Rice set to cost an over the top £90 million, United have to look elsewhere.

It’s unclear at this point which direction United will go. Yves Bissouma is an option, as is Ruben Neves. The club could of course consider some options from outside the Premier League.

One name United should consider is Sporting midfielder Joao Palhinha.

Joao Palhinha is coming off the best season of his career after helping Sporting to win the Primeira Liga title.

Palhinha would fill an instant need at United as a defensive midfielder, replacing Nemanja Matic.

He is 25-years-old, the right balance between youth and experience, one year younger than Bruno Fernandes.

This past season FBRef.com cite Palhinha as winning the highest number of tackles (68) in the Portuguese league, while WhoScored.com rate him as the seventh best player in the division based on performances last season.

Palhinha has been capped three times by Portugal and has been named in their squad for Euro 2020, where his reputation could be bolstered.