January 22, 2019
Manchester United hold an interest in PSV Eindhoven winger Steven Bergwijn according to reports. The 21-year-old has scored nine goals and eight assists in 17 Eredivisie appearances this season, Bergwijn has a further assist in the UEFA Champions League, making a total of 23 appearances this season, meaning that he averages either a goal or an assist every 0.78 matches, which for his age is great.
It is suggested that United’s caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed an interest in adding an attacking player to his squad this season. Many will be happy to see that Bergwijn is an attacking midfielder who can play on the left or the right. A right-winger has been problematic at the club for quite a few years now, which does not seem to be something the hierarchy at the club has wanted to address, based on the lack of movement for such a player.
Currently, Jesse Lingard has been occupying the right-wing position but if he is injured for any length of time, Juan Mata would be the only experienced player to step into that role. Despite Mata being an experienced player, him playing in a wide role goes against anything United stands for. He has the mind to play football but his pace is somewhat lacking, meaning he ventures into a more central area, leaving the right-wing exposed.
It has been suggested in the reports that United have scouted Bergwijn this season and watched PSV draw 2-2 with Emmen at the weekend, a game which saw the 21-year-old grab an assist. It was the first in five games that the player did not score a goal himself, which shows the form he is in right now. Bergwijn is a player from Ajax’s amazing Academy, a club which has been developing some top-level players over the years.
PSV manager, Mark van Bommel, replaced Phillip Cocu in the summer, which has seen the Dutch legend build his own PSV side, of which Bergwijn has become a first team regular under. Bergwijn has also represented the Netherlands at every level from the U17s upwards, appearing three times for the senior side, two of which were in the UEFA Nations League. He could even be involved in the summer when the Netherlands face England in Portugal in the semi-finals of the competition.
United may have to battle with Tottenham Hotspur for the Dutch international whilst West Ham United, Inter Milan and Bournemouth has all expressed an interest in the player. His current contract at PSV expires in the summer of 2022 but there are suggestions in the report that the Dutch club is resigned to losing the player before the expiry of his contract, although that is not confirmed by any club official, the player or his representatives.
PSV would like to keep Bergwijn for the remainder of the season, which could see them win back to back Eredivisie titles, which they achieved in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, breaking Ajax’s monopoly or four titles in a row, stopping them from a fifth. It is also suggested that the likes of Torino, Bordeaux, Real Sociedad and CSKA Moscow are all monitoring Bergwijn ahead of a possible move. However, it is also stated in reports that a move to United would be tempting. They would say that though, wouldn’t they!
Right now, United have recovered from a poor season, winning seven matches in a row. Some are not convinced as for at least two matches, United seem to have struggled but Rome was not built in a day. Solskjaer has found belief in his side, which is a good thing as the squad did seem to be dejected under Jose Mourinho. The one thing that puzzles me is the fact that with Solskjaer as the caretaker manager, why would United look to sign players?
It is suggested that United will be recruiting a Director of Football, which is necessary for this day and age. Without one, and the fact that Solskjaer is a temporary fix at the club unless the hierarchy knows more than we do, which is always the case anyway, recruitment without a Director of Football and a permanent manager would seem pointless. Who knows what is happening? The one thing that is necessary here is that United do need a winger to play on the right, whether it happens though will be seen in time.