LOSC Lille centre back Leny Yoro is one of the most sought-after defenders in world football and he is only 18 years of age.

Whilst Real Madrid are considered the frontrunners for the starlet’s signature, it has been reported that Manchester United along with Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain hold a significant interest in the player.

According to The Athletic, some of Europe’s major clubs are attracted to “his defensive presence, ease on the ball and maturity.”

The American outlet went into great detail as to why the young French star is talked about as being one of the next big things in world football and why he has so many massive clubs clamouring for his signature.

Despite excelling at modern aspects of defending too, “Yoro is a throwback defender in some respects, due to his tendency to operate as the last man in Lille’s back line.”

The defender is “agile and reads danger well, akin to Liverpool’s centre-back and captain Virgil van Dijk.”

He has averaged 1.2 interceptions per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 last season, but more impressively he has been able to protect his side cleanly, committing just 0.7 fouls and 0.03 errors per 90, all of which highlight a maturity beyond his years.

Yoro reads the game effectively and reacts to danger, not charging in like many young defenders would do.

The Lille centre back is also very accomplished on the ball as “he completes most of his attempted passes, which are largely confined to his team’s half of the pitch. However, he has also shown that he can attempt and complete more ambitious passes into opposition territory.”

Statistics show that the defender can err on the side of caution when it comes to his passing and he is also not the best at progressing the ball, but once again, it is impossible to expect an 18-year-old to have all of these complex facets of his game covered all at once.

Moreover, “team style and coaching demands” must also be taken into consideration when analysing a player’s statistics, especially one so young.

The great attraction of Yoro to Europe’s elite is that “he has the qualities needed to step into the starting XI of these sides but can also be developed for a season before becoming a full-time first-choice.”

The outlet suggests Yoro would fit in well with Lisandro Martinez at United due to the Argentine’s great ball progression statistics but a potential partnership might struggle in aerial duels.

It is also suggested that should United try to remedy the aerial deficiency by partnering Yoro with Harry Maguire, however “he does not attempt many carries (38.2 per 90 last season) and partnering him with Yoro could hurt their build-up play.”

However, if United were to sign Yoro, they would likely sell a player such as Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof as they have already made a bid for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

“Regardless of what happens in Yoro’s future, his talent suggests he is capable of making the leap to a top side and contributing positively in both the short and long term.”

What is clear is that a summer window of adding Yoro and another top defensive prospect such as Branthwaite or Jean-Clair Todibo should do much to fix United’s defensive woes of the past season.

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