Scouting Report: Sebastian Rudy Manchester United's Plan B to William Carvalho?

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Scouting Report: Sebastian Rudy Manchester United's Plan B to William Carvalho?
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Sporting Lisbon will only sell William Carvalho to Manchester United for €46.6/£37 million, per Sporting TV (h/t Sky Sports), so could Hoffenheim central midfielder Sebastian Rudy be a summer transfer window alternative?

To address that hypothetical scenario, here is a scouting report on Rudy, a 24-year-old, 5'10", 161-pound German international. 


Able to play as a defensive midfielder via a holding role in a 4-2-3-1 or as a central midfielder via a shuttler role in a 4-4-2 diamond, Rudy is well-versed in orchestrating midfield proceedings. 

Rudy is a hard-worker, tallying 87 tackles and 45 interceptions in 27 Bundesliga games. 

League Only Tackles Per Game Fouls Per Game Tackles Per Foul Interceptions Per Game
Darren Fletcher 0.7 0.3 2.7 1.3
Marouane Fellaini 2.8 2.1 1.3 1.9
Michael Carrick 2.1 0.4 5.1 2.8
Sebastian Rudy 3.2 1.9 1.7 1.7
Tom Cleverley 2.2 0.7 3.0 1.5

On the ball, Rudy has shown snippets of brilliance. 

When Hannover 96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler went walk-about, he was punished by an audacious long-range shot from Rudy.

Rudy pierced Wolfsburg's defence with a lofted through-ball to create a goal for Hoffenheim centre-forward Anthony Modeste.

Registering six assists in league play last season, Rudy's output was better than every single United central midfielder. 

League Only Assists Key Passes Per Game Pass Completion % Passes Per Game
Darren Fletcher 0 0.6 89.1 55.8
Marouane Fellaini 1 0.3 88.5 50.5
Michael Carrick 0 1.0 88.6 70.7
Sebastian Rudy 6 1.3 78.2 39.1
Tom Cleverley 0 0.5 89.6 51.7

Against Borussia MonchengladbachRudy dominated midfield, spraying the ball around to complete 74 of 81 passes (91.4 pass completion percentage; per FourFourTwo).

Being a nifty dribbler is another trait Rudy is good at.



Alex Grimm/Getty Images

A red flag in Rudy's game is his short attention span.  

Rudy failed to close down and apply pressure on Wolfsburg right-back Christian Trasch, who delivered a low cross into Hoffenheim's penalty box.

While staring at Bayern Munich left winger Franck Ribery's pirouette pass, Rudy forgot to mark Bayern right winger Thomas Mueller, who poached what turned out to be the winning goal.

Despite covering the post, Rudy did not block Gladbach centre-back Tony Jantschke's header.

Rudy was a step behind Hannover central midfielder Leon Andreasen

Rudy excels at making rudimentary defensive stops, but lacks fundamental defensive positioning. 

He also needs to work on his passing accuracy.

While he is an incisive passer, his 78.2 pass completion percentage is below the United average (84.4).

Bottom Line

German national team manager Joachim Low gave Rudy a run against Poland in what was a Die Mannschaft B team.  

Rudy was not Low's first-choice and he may not be United's preferred midfield target, but he could be a viable plan B to Carvalho, whose inflated €46.6/£37 million transfer valuation could become a barrier. 

With the potential to develop into an all-round midfielder, Rudy can grow under United manager Louis van Gaal


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