Manchester United step up hunt for free agent Santiago Arias – A good move?

Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Santiago Arias, who is a free agent after being released by Atletico Madrid earlier this summer.

santiago arias

The transfer window may have shut but clubs are able to conduct dealings by snapping up free agents. Manchester United had an eventful summer transfer window as they splashed top dollar to bring in the likes of Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia. However, it appears Erik ten Hag isn’t entirely satisfied with the squad, with additions still being lined up.

Santiago Arias, 30, is a player heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days. The Colombian international moved to Atletico Madrid from PSV Eindhoven in 2018 but struggled to make any sort of impact in Spain, managing just 51 appearances for the club. Injuries didn’t help his cause at Atletico Madrid either, while was farmed out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen and Granada after falling behind Kieran Trippier and Sime Vrsaljko in the pecking order.

Now a free agent, should Man United snap up Arias?

Erik ten Hag doesn’t rate Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has lost his right-back spot to Diogo Dalot this season. Dalot has started all seven of Man United’s games so far this season, including the 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad in the Europa League.

Erik ten Hag seemingly doesn’t rate Wan-Bissaka and was open to offloading him in the summer transfer window, only to change his mind later due to the club’s inability to sign a right-back. Wan-Bissaka, who was linked with moves to Crystal Palace and West Ham, has been limited to just four minutes of action so far and will certainly be allowed to leave in January if a suitable offer is tabled.

Is Santiago Arias the right fit at Man United?

Erik ten Hag wants competition and cover for Dalot at right-back and has stepped up his efforts to bring Santiago Arias to Man United on a short-term contract.

Arias is a modern-day full-back with good pace, smart positioning and pinpoint crossing ability. The Colombian’s time at Atletico Madrid may have been underwhelming but he still is a quality player whose valuable experience at the highest level could massively help Ten Hag’s squad at Old Trafford.

Dalot has improved massively as a player under Ten Hag but he cannot play every single game, and with the World Cup in Qatar on the horizon, addressing the right-back area becomes even more important. Arias’ addition, thus, will provide the United boss with more options at right-back and allow him to rotate with Dalot.

On a free transfer, there is little risk attached to this signing. If Arias is over his injury problems, he could turn out to be a shrewd piece of business for the Red Devils.

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