As the World Cup approaches, transfer deals have been as prevalent in the build-up as the actual tournament frenzy. With Rickie Lambert moving to Liverpool, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole leaving Chelsea and who could forget Phil Bardsley joining Stoke, people might have forgotten that in one week’s time the 2014 World Cup will begin.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic onto new pastures, a rather sizeable hole needs filling before the start of the new season and with proposed interest in Dortmund’s, Mats Hummels, the mighty German might just be the man to fill that gap.
An ideal replacement for Vidic and Ferdinand, Hummels possesses the ability to play out of defence akin to Rio Ferdinand, and the toughness and commanding presence that Vidic became infamous for during his time at Manchester United.
Defensively, Hummels edges Vidic in the interceptions, aerial duels won and tackles made. With 57 interceptions last season for Dortmund, Hummels had strikers wary of his presence and he showed his ability to stop a move developing. In the air the two players are very similar; Vidic won 101 aerial duels compared to Hummels’ 109. Hummels sneaks Vidic in terms of tackles won also, with the German winning 36 compared to Vidic’s 22.
Vidic storms ahead however on blocks made last season (12) doubling the amount Hummels (6) made completed. Vidic also beats Hummels on clearances made last season with a whopping 268 clearances compared to Hummels’ 135.
In Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United had a defender who made his name being comfortable on the ball and having the ability to play out of defence. In Hummels, Manchester United would have a perfect replacement. In the 2012/13 season, (Ferdinand made similar amount of appearances as Hummels this season) Ferdinand made 1299 passes with a success rate of 90%. In the 2013/14 season, Hummels made 1418 passes with an average pass accuracy of 81%. Hummels showed just how confident he is on the ball this season amassing an astounding 28 take-ons with a success rate of 82% compared to Rio’s 7 take-ons with a 77% success rate.
Hummels’ ability to play out from the back is not something to be underestimated. Last season he created 13 chances for team mates and made 2 assists. With a secure back-line, Manchester United could find themselves creating chances and starting counter-attacks from all over the pitch next season.
Louis van Gaal must sign players this season to have any chance of bringing Manchester United back into the title fold and in Mats Hummels, he has a perfect replacement for two of the club’s most decorated players. Convincing Hummels to leave will prove difficult but van Gaal’s experience with him at Bayern Munich could prove key to getting the deal done.