Malacia, who predominately plays as a left-back for Dutch club Feyenoord, was almost certainly heading to Olympique Lyon as a result of a rumoured £15 million bid – however, a late intervention from Manchester United has seemingly changed his trajectory.
If the Red Devils are to sign the young defender, what could we expect to see from him at Old Trafford?
Tyrell Malacia deal. Manchester Utd always been optimistic after OL deal hijacked, as revealed on Tuesday. Same feeling also now, as Malacia confirmed to the club that he only wants to play for Man United. 🚨⏳ #MUFC
Official contracts being checked in order to sign soon. pic.twitter.com/bBDSwRF9ma
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 1, 2022
What Qualities Does Tyrell Malacia Offer?
One of the main selling points for Erik ten Hag and his pursuit of Malacia would have been the athleticism the 22-year-old possesses. The defender is agile and fast, with particularly good recovery pace – averaging around 2.7 tackles per game. These attributes make the youngster a good fit for the fast and furious nature of Premier League football, something Ten Hag will be conscious of.
The left-back has the stature and engine within to bomb up and down the left flank consistently for the duration of a game, not dissimilar to Luke Shaw, although Malacia’s youth and potential for development may make him a more enticing option for Ten Hag.
What’s even more encouraging for Manchester United fans is Malacia’s ability to be calm and composed on the ball, while also having a keen eye to pick crucial passes.
Malacia boasts an impressive 85.3 per cent pass success rate from last year’s Eredivisie campaign and has strong dribbling ability, something that would definitely benefit the Red Devils and their desire to have offensive fullbacks.
Promisingly, Malacia also boasts a good crossing ability – something to Cristiano Ronaldo’s benefit, while the defender also managed four assists and one goal in last year’s league campaign.
It’s clear that Malacia has all the attributes and potential going forward but his defensive game may need some work if he is to deal with the elite level of the Premier League.
As previously mentioned, the athleticism and pace the Dutch international has is great for last-ditch defending and one on one situations, but positional discipline would reduce the amount he may have to rely on these attributes.
Malacia can often be caught out in transitions, a symptom of his marauding and high-octane style of play, which could cause issues for a Manchester United team still without a top-class defensive midfielder.
Issues aside, the left-back still retains an appetite for a tackle and was dribbled past less than once a game on average last season.
Erik ten Hag is said to be particularly keen on the player and his ability to ‘attack the space’, which could be something the new Manchester United boss works on in an offensive and defensive capacity, bringing the Dutchman’s positional game to another level.
Overall if Manchester United do close the deal, it could spell the end for Alex Telles, and potentially be the launchpad for another brilliant career at Old Trafford in 22-year-old Tyrell Malacia.