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Opinion

Manchester United £200m back four can’t keep clean sheet as Newcastle’s defy odds and price tags

10 months ago
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Manchester United fans can’t believe just how much has been spent on their defence for so little.

Sunday saw bottom club Watford deservedly beat them 2-0 as the defence once again let them down.

Maybe Manchester United need to spend a few more quid on defenders…

The thing is though, that is what they have already done, spent serious money on their backline but with a very poor return.

Sunday was the 13th Premier League game in a row where Manchester United had failed to keep a clean sheet.

This despite their back four at the weekend costing a cool £200m.

Maguire (£78m), Lindelof (£32m), Shaw (£34m) and Wan-Bissaka (£50m) adding up to £194m, then add keeper De Gea (£23m) and you are up to £217m (all figures via Transfermarkt.com).

Add in the likes of Bailly (£34m), Rojo (£18m) and Dalot (£20m) and you are up to a staggering £289m for a goalkeeper and seven defenders.

The contrasts couldn’t be more stark with Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez having shown that there is still real value for money to be got in defensive positions, not just value but real quality.

At the weekend Manchester United had a goalkeeper and back four that cost £217m, whereas Newcastle put out a keeper and back five to beat Palace and keep a clean sheet that cost only £27m.

Dubravka (£4m) in goal and in front of him Manquillo (£4m), Fernandez (£6m), Schar (£4m), Dummett (£0) and Lejeune (£9m).

Making it up to to a goalkeeper and seven defenders you could add Lascelles (£4m) and Clark (£5m), making that total up to £36m, compared to the £289m Manchester United have spent on a keeper and seven defenders.

Martin Dubravka will make his 69th consecutive Premier League appearance on Thursday.

He started for Newcastle with a 1-0 home win over Man Utd on 11 February 2017.

In his 68 PL games so far, Dubravka and the rest of his budget NUFC defence have conceded 83 goals, whilst in the same number of games Manchester United have conceded 86.

I just hope other clubs don’t start taking a serious look at Newcastle defenders, especially when Mike Ashley is making no moves to extend the contracts of so many players who are seeing their contracts winding down, Schar has only 18 months left, whilst Fernandez and Manquillo only have six months each.

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