Sometimes it is better just to state the obvious.
If Danny Rose wants to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer, Manchester United should move in for a quick, efficient, fuss-free transfer.
The news that the England left-back could be on the move in the next few weeks emerged with his absence from Spurs’ pre-season tour, “to explore prospective opportunities with other clubs” according to an official club statement.
It has been claimed Rose will be available for around £25million but currently has no viable suitors. The 29-year-old has hinted at a move away from Spurs in the past and has been on United’s radar, though a mixture of injury and loss of form saw him slip down the White Hart Lane pecking order — until an excellent 2018/19 campaign to help Mauricio Pochettino’s men to the Champions League final.
Rose is an intriguing character and exactly the personality type needed in the current United dressing room. He is forceful but intelligent in his public statements, has spoken well on tricky issues like mental health and racism. On the football field he is simply a fine left-back who would offer much-needed competition in that position at Old Trafford.
Luke Shaw’s current hamstring injury had laid out United’s threadbare options on the left side of defence. That the two players who featured there in the pre-season win over Leeds United were a centre-back surplus to requirements (Marcos Rojo) and a 34-year-old converted winger (Ashley Young) speaks volumes about the imbalances in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.
United have finally got themselves two credible right-back options now Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been signed to compete for that spot with Diogo Dalot. But on the other side they have one decent, if injury-prone left-back. Shaw is certainly good enough to be first choice and enjoyed his most consistent United season last term to win the club’s player of the year award.
So although United are rightly targeting a centre-back and central midfield as the next pieces of their transfer puzzle, left-back remains overlooked. Relying on Rojo or Young would be a mistake of giant proportions, especially if Shaw suffers a long-term injury.
The complication may come in terms of who Spurs are willing to do business with. United know all about Daniel Levy and his hard-nosed approach to negotiating in the transfer window. You suspect Rose would like the idea of moving to United and at £25m is a relative bargain in the current market. But Levy may prefer to sell to an overseas club, so as not to strengthen a rival.
Either way, it would be a shame if United didn’t reprise their interest in Rose, one of English football’s perennially underrated talents. All the blocks of Solskjaer’s rebuild are slowly falling into place, but the Norwegian cannot afford to leave some areas unattended to.
Harry Maguire and Danny Rose both at Old Trafford? Wow. Maybe then the critics of United’s creaking post-Sir Alex Ferguson defence would begin to be silenced.