Manchester United are being linked with a move for Porto midfielder Vitinha, but his previous form in the Premier League suggests that he would add very little to Erik ten Hag’s squad.
What has been said
According to the Portuguese outlet, Record, United and Arsenal are ‘ready to pay’ the £35m release clause of the 22-year-old midfielder after an impressive season with Porto, as he helped Sérgio Conceição’s side to the Liga NOS title.
With United having already lost Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic after their contracts expired, it is clear that ten Hag needs midfield reinforcements if United are to be a force again next season, but there is little to suggest that Vitinha would be better than any of the players released.
Worse than Matic?
In Vitinha’s last spell in the Premier League, he made just five starts and 14 substitute appearances for Wolves, in which he contributed no goals and one assist, averaging a less than impressive 6.26 rating from WhoScored.
For comparison, Matic, who has been reunited with Jose Mourinho at Roma after leaving Old Trafford, would average a 6.63 rating from WhoScored last season, even contributing four assists from defensive-midfield.
The Serbian was still deemed not good enough by large portions of the United faithful and left on a free transfer, so it would be baffling for United to replace him with someone that clearly didn’t cut it last time he was in the Premier League.
Although Vitinha was much improved last season with Porto, averaging a 7.23 rating from WhoScored, that was with a title-winning side in a significantly weaker division, and Ten Hag would surely be better off looking at more established talents, such as Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen who have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
During Vitinha’s spell with Wolves, former manager Nuno Espirito Santo suggested that the midfielder was still adapting to the Premier League and “has to decide better” when using the ball, which suggests that he would take some time to get up to speed with the demands of the English top-flight.
Ten Hag needs Premier League-ready players who can make a difference from the off, and for £35m, United would surely be better off looking elsewhere for new midfield acquisitions.