Following a breakdown in talks with Chelsea over a deal for Marc Cucurella, Manchester United have turned their attention to Tottenham left-back Sergio Reguilón. The Old Trafford side have reached an agreement with the north Londoners over a loan deal.
Date of Birth: 16/12/1996 (26)
Strong Foot: Left
Height: 1.78m (5ft 10in)
Who is Sergio Reguilón?
A few years ago, Manchester United were close to signing Sergio Reguilón from Real Madrid. At the time, fans were very excited about the potential signing. Fast forward a few years and a large number of United fans now feel very underwhelmed by Reguilón’s arrival.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Reguilón is a product of Real Madrid’s academy. Unfortunately for Reguilón, he was never really able to establish himself as a regular starter in Real Madrid’s first-team. Therefore, he decided to leave the club on loan and in July 2019 he joined Sevilla. The Spanish left-back enjoyed a very good season at Sevilla, where he took his game to the next level and also won the Europa League.
After that loan spell, it started to become more and more likely that Reguilón would join Manchester United. However, the deal didn’t go through, with various reports at the time claiming that United couldn’t find an agreement with Real Madrid as Los Blancos wanted to include a buy-back clause in the deal. Reguilón instead made a move to north London, where he joined Tottenham.
Regiuilón would’ve been looking to build on his impressive loan spell at Sevilla, but at Spurs, for a variety of reasons, the La Fábrica graduate struggled to find the form he showed at Sevilla. In August 2022, Reguilón returned home to Spain where he joined Atlético Madrid on loan but he only made 12 appearances and ultimately that loan spell was heavily affected by injuries.Embed from Getty Images
Reguilón is now set to join Manchester United on a season-long loan. According to The Athletic, there is no buy-option or loan fee, but United will cover his full salary and there is a break clause in January. United made a move for Reguilón after talks with Chelsea over priority target Marc Cucurella reached an impasse, despite the player having agreed to a transfer to Manchester United.
Reguilón is extremely hard-working and also possesses good pace. His pace and ability to dribble means he is a threat going forward — in the 2019/20 La Liga season, when Reguilón was at Sevilla, he completed an impressive 71% of his attempted dribbles. In that same season, he also registered 3 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. Eight-goal contributions is decent for a left-back, but obviously not elite. In the 2021/22 Premier League season, he also registered 2 goals and 3 assists in 25 appearances. In comparison, in the 2022/23 Premier League season, Shaw picked up 2 assists and 1 goal. From an attacking point of view, Reguilón is certainly better than Marc Cucurella who was United’s priority left-back target.Embed from Getty Images
From a defensive point of view, Reguilón isn’t amazing but also not terrible. In the 2021/22 Premier League season, the Spanish left-back averaged 1.2 interceptions per 90 and 1.6 tackles per 90. In the two seasons of Premier League football he has played, he has also only made one error which led to a goal.
Reguilón is also decent in the air. In the 2021/22 Premier League season, he won 58% of his aerial duels which is respectable. In comparison, last season in the Premier League, Luke Shaw won 61% of his aerial duels so the difference there isn’t too big.
One thing that Shaw brings to the team that Reguilón doesn’t is a reliable presence in build-up. In terms of his passing ability, Reguilón is quite average and his passing range also isn’t great. When he does play, Ten Hag should try and find a way to limit his involvement in build-up and give him licence to get forward instead. Marc Cucurella is great in build-up and is a really good ball-progressor. That’s certainly one of the reasons Ten Hag was keen on bringing him to Old Trafford.Embed from Getty Images
Another big concern with Reguilón is the injury issues he’s had recently. He missed 29 games through injury last season and hasn’t played much football in recent times. Considering he’s only joining United on a short-term deal, Ten Hag will hope that Reguión can perform immediately but considering his lack of game time last season, he may struggle to get back to a high level quickly.
Where would he fit in at Manchester United?
Sergio Reguilón will not have a guaranteed place in the starting line-up when joins Manchester United, despite both of United’s senior left-back options being injured. Erik ten Hag utilised Diogo Dalot as a left-back against Nottingham Forest and Dalot will likely get a lot of game time in that position in the absence of Malacia and Shaw. Dalot is a fairly well-rounded full-back, and is also fairly good in build-up. He is capable of inverting into midfield and that’s something that Reguilón likely wouldn’t be as comfortable doing.
Youngster Alvaro Fernandez could also get a chance to impress if he doesn’t depart on loan before the window shuts on Friday night. Fernandez has been heavily linked to a move back to Spain, with Granada said to have a strong interest in the former Real Madrid left-back.
Sergio Reguilón, at this stage of his career, probably isn’t at the level Manchester United need. He showed at Sevilla how good he can be, but has struggled to regain that form since and his injury issues last season have likely complicated matters even further. Cucurella would’ve been a better option, and that’s why he was United’s priority. However, Reguilón is only here for the short-term and United will have the option to send him back to Spurs in January. Luke Shaw will reportedly be out till November and Tyrell Malacia will likely be out for a few more weeks, as he continues to recover from an injury that has ruled him out of the beginning of this season.