Manchester United want a revamp rather than a long-term rebuilding project. So, the club should slam the breaks on its mooted interest in 19-year-old Southampton full-back Calum Chambers, reported by Daily Mirror writer Ed Malyon.
United certainly have issues at every level of a defence that has been eroded by age and injuries. Centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have both past their prime, while left-back Patrice Evra has lost the burst of pace that covered for so many of his positional lapses.
Ironically enough, right-back was supposed to be the one area where the Red Devils fielded a settled player. But erratic Brazilian Rafael da Silva is far from an assured and steady defender.
That explains the interest in Chambers, who is the latest prospect off the Southampton conveyor belt of precocious, young talent.
He has gained admirers this season after a series of commanding performances that belie his relative inexperience. He has made 15 appearances for the Saints in the English Premier League, including three off the bench.
In keeping with the brand of stylish, possession football Southampton play under manager Mauricio Pochettino, Chambers has showcased a flair for efficient passing.
He boasts a 79.1 percent success rate as a passer, according to stats from WhoScored.com. In one respect, that should endear the youngster to United.
The club has a rich tradition of attractive, attacking football. United have frequently relied on forward-thinking full-backs to supplement attacks, players like Evra, Gary Neville, Dennis Irwin and Paul Parker.
But a closer look at Chambers' numbers reveals what is still missing from the youngster's game. Specifically, he struggles to muster an end product.
He hasn't managed a single goal or assist as an offensive force, per more figures from WhoScored.com. That shows there is considerable room for development in Chambers' game, enough to make beleaguered United boss David Moyes wary.
Both players responded with consistently dangerous attacking output. During Moyes' final season in charge in 2012/13, Baines and Coleman each had five assists in the league, with the former also netting five goals, per ESPNFC.com.
Chambers is not ready to match those efforts. Nor does he seem quite as adept defensively as Rafael, at least according to numbers from WhoScored.com:
|Rafael da Silva||2.4||1.9||0.3||4.1|
If United sign Chambers at the end of this season, they will be getting a young player currently unprepared to take such a leap in his career.
While Chambers is not even a regular ahead of Nathaniel Clyne, left-back Luke Shaw has started 50 EPL games in the last two seasons.
But unlike Chambers, the 18-year-old is battle-tested enough to step up. He has experienced a number of matches to help refine his overall game.
By contrast, Chambers is still very raw, although certainly promising. After a rough debut season in Manchester, Moyes can't indulge in raw projects.
He needs more established players to facilitate a quick makeover at Old Trafford.