News From Manchester: Arnaut Danjuma transfer can give Manchester United the change they need – George Smith

The two clubs have faced each other on three occasions in the past year, meeting in last season's Europa League final in Gdansk and twice in the group stages of this season's Champions League. Having been beaten in the most important of those three meetings, United must be sick of the sight of the iconic Yellow Submarine shirt.

Yet they could be forgiven for paying even more attention to it this summer. That is because they are being linked with two players within Unai Emery's squad in the forms of Pau Torres and Arnaut Danjuma.

As revealed by the Manchester Evening News last month, United have rekindled their interest in centre-back Torres. The Reds have plans to strengthen their options at the back this summer and he is on their list of candidates. Reports connecting Danjuma with Old Trafford, however, are nothing more than gossip column fillers for now.

However, United ought to consider flipping rumours about interest in Danjuma into hardcore facts. The Dutchman is attracting a wave of attention from across Europe at this moment in time following a blistering first season in Spain.

Signed from Bournemouth last summer, following the Cherries' failure to earn promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, Danjuma flourished in his first season in yellow, scoring 16 goals and grabbing four assists in just 34 appearances. It was an outstanding return and it means that his current stock is only heading north.

He was nothing short of scintillating for Bournemouth during the 2020/21 campaign, too, scoring 17 goals and grabbing eight assists in all competitions, earning him a place in the Championship Team of the Season. His talent stood out like a sore thumb in the Championship, meaning it was always possible that he could deliver at a higher level. That has proved to be the case this season.

Snapped up in a deal that initially cost Villarreal less than 20million, nobody would have foreseen just how good and invaluable Danjuma would become. Above all, he played a key role in the club's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League, scoring six goals and grabbing one assist, meaning he scored just as many as Cristiano Ronaldo did in the competition this season. That is not a record to be ashamed of.

Often deployed in a free role to weave his magic and cause the opposition problems, the Dutchman thrives when being granted that freedom. He is a creator and loves nothing more than taking a man on, beating him and scoring.

Considering United need to make big changes to the squad this summer, including the character and mentality of the players, Danjuma ought to be an individual they pay close attention to. His career is on an upward trajectory and at 25 he is a player that has a potential resale value, should he continue to develop as quickly as he currently is.

United's failures in recent years, especially this term, have extended from a poor dressing room culture and players thriving off inflated egos. Danjuma is a player that has had to work hard for where he finds himself and a lot of people would not even recognise him if they passed him in the street. He is the type of signing United should be targeting to help the Erik ten Hag revolution come to life.

Whilst he is the right sort of character, he would certainly improve the Reds in a footballing sense, as highlighted by a tally of 33 goals in the last two seasons at club-level. On paper, he might not be viewed as sexy a signing as Alexis Sanchez and Angel Di Maria were in recent years, but the rewards, you would like to think, would promise to be far greater.

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