Director admits Manchester United could sign De Jong clone for just £10m

Director admits Manchester United could sign De Jong clone for just £10m

Utrecht hope to bring in around £10 million for Taylor Booth with reports suggesting that the USA international is an option for Manchester United this summer. 

The clamour for a press-resistant, ball-carrying midfielder is growing amongst Red Devils supporters, particularly following successive defeats away from home at West Ham United and Brighton and Hove Albion.

For all their talents, neither Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes nor Marcel Sabitzer are now particularly renowned for escaping a high press with a turn of pace and a lung-busting carry after all.

Now, 21-year-old Booth is unlikely to be the first name on the lips of many Manchester United supporters.

But, with the Daily Mail reporting that Ten Hag has been ‘actively monitoring’ Booth’s performances at his former employers Utrecht, some will be pleased by suggestions that United appear to be going back to their roots, scouring the market for rising talents rather than splurging colossal sums on those already past their peak. As was the case for much of the Ed Woodward era. 

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Taylor Booth could be Manchester United’s Frenkie de Jong

Booth, formerly of Bayern Munich, has two goals and three assists this term. Those rather underwhelming statistics do not do his influence justice, however; the Utah-born youngster winning the Eredivisie’s Player of the Month award for November. All the while backing up those comparisons with a young Frenkie de Jong.

“I know that there is a lot of interest in players like Booth,” says Utrecht director Jordy Zuidam.

Zuidam admits that Utrecht will have to sell this summer. What Booth lacks in experience and a proven track record, he makes up for in affordability and potential.

“If we want to keep the club healthy, we have to make transfers,” the director adds. “We aim to (bring in) about 12 million euros.

“You try to keep these boys, but you have to be realistic. And that will show in the coming (transfer) period.”

An ‘extremely talented’ midfield player, Booth is equally comfortable in the centre or out wide. He was outstanding in a 5-5 draw between Utrecht and AZ Alkmaar from a right-sided position.

“I can play anywhere in the midfield. I prefer (playing as an) ‘eight’ or ‘ten’ because I like more of an attacking role,” Booth tells Goal. “A free, roaming role, (where) I can always get on the ball.

“I love to have the ball at my feet, being involved in the game. And I love to be able to dictate the tempo of the game.”

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