I made this point back in November, but I’m going to take the opportunity to reinforce it: Manchester United should look at Malaga’s Ignacio Camacho as a potential reinforcement for their midfield.
Every week there’s a new rumour about who United will sign to strengthen that part of their squad, whether it be Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman or Sven Bender. Of those three, Bender would probably be the most useful and risk-free addition, but he would come at steep price.
Malaga, contrary to popular belief, aren’t actually under any pressure to cash-in their assets, and the predicted Summer fire sale won’t be happening – but because of the ban the club has incurred from Champions League football, some of the bigger names in that side might look for a way out before too long.
Camacho is an intelligent and technical player, but also a physical one. He has the attributes to read a game, pick off errant passes, but also to compete in a tackle – he’s very much equipped for Premier League life, and he would really upgrade the defensive side of United’s midfield.
This season so far, Camacho has averaged 3.4 interceptions per game, the second most in La Liga, and also wins 3.8 tackles every 90 minutes (12th). The one caveat, is that he does give away a lot of free-kicks (2.3/game) – but maybe United need a bit more physicality when they’re not in possession, because for all Michael Carrick’s merits, he is an extremely passive defender. Interestingly, Camacho’s interception/tackle statistics are almost identical for the games he’s played in the Champions League which, when you consider the opposition Malaga came up against (Zenit, AC Milan), is quite impressive.
I know I’m boring about Camacho, and I’ve laboured this point a bit, but it’s only because the Spaniard would be an outstanding signing – and at 22, he would be a long-term solution.
It won’t happen, but it absolutely should.