Barca’s Brazilian defender Dani Alves is one of Europe’s most accomplished right back. Recently, the former Sevilla man declared that he was playing his last season for the Catalans and would be looking to move on at the end of the season. On his next destination, Alves hinted that he would love to experience life in the Premier League. Trust the rumour mill to go work on that. They have reported that he is set to be a subject of intense battle between two already intense rivals.
The Manchester teams (City and United) are set to battle it out for him. Manchester United Louis Van Gaal seems keen on him as he is out to bolster his defence but Manchester City are not one to allow the opportunity to sign a good player pass them by. Since it’s shaping up to be a straight battle between both teams, which team needs him the more?
Manchester City already have two accomplished right backs in Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna. They don’t need another one. Having three experienced right backs jostling for just one spot could create unhealthy rivalry. The only way to prevent that is if Pellegrini decides to play him as a winger instead of his conventional right back role. Should he be deployed on the wing, it means James Milner will have to be scarificed which is almost impossible if you consider his importance to the current Manchester City team.
In contrast, Manchester United look like the team in dire need of a right back boasting the type of experience Dani Alves has. Rafael is still unconvincing while Smalling and Phil Jones who can both play in that role are too injury prone to be depended on and Valencia playing in right back is akin to a square peg in a round hole. They could sure do with a right back in the mould of Alves. Also, Alves’s style would suit Van Gaal’s formation. The Dutchman has introduced a 4-3-3 formation which would see him play only 3 defenders at the back and his full backs acting as wingers. Alves is a perfect fit for that sort of formation as he is a tight back who is more adept attacking rather than defending.
All in all, the decision lies with Alves and who knows, money might just play a key role. The arrival of Alves at City could signal the end of Milner’s stay there. The Englishman is stalling on signing a new contract no thanks to limited role in the team. Playing at right back is one of the way he gets into the first team, the arrival of Alves would end that and push him further down the pecking order behind Zabaleta, Sagna and Alves.