The 23-year-old Montenegro international is a relatively unknown quantity, having only moved to Italy’s top flight in the summer from Dunajska Streda.
From playing in Slovakia’s second tier to making the jump to Manchester United is a huge one in the space of six months, especially for a player supposedly approaching the peak years of his career, which is why the links have been so surprising.
And yet in a way they are not.
Manchester United need a striker and will probably not have much money to spend come the January transfer window, by which time Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team are not yet expected to have their feet under their desks, even if an announcement of the deal is imminently anticipated.
Is it entirely unreasonable to think that in the space of six to 10 weeks, there won’t be an overhaul to Man Utd’s transfer policy?
Last January, when the Red Devils were crying out for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, they insulted the great man by drafting in Wout Weghorst, a player who managed just two goals over the course of his six-month stay, and not a single one in the Premier League.
Now it is Krstovic who arrives at Man Utd as the stop-gap measure.
How good is Krstovic?
The 23-year-old bears a resemblance to Weghorst in that he is a physical centre-forward who does not shirk hard work. But his goal return is similarly modest at a high level – six in 17 for Lecce compares to the eight the Dutchman managed for Besiktas when he was whisked away by Man Utd – and he appears technically limited.
Data analytics experts SciSports rate Krstovic as the worst striker in Serie A this season, based upon a series of hundreds of in-game metrics.
Krstovic vs Serie A strikers
He does not rate among the top third of players in Serie A in any category but comes closest in his defensive pressing and prevention – two attributes that manager Erik ten Hag may value from his centre-forward, but they are unlikely to excite Man Utd fans.
With Rasmus Hojlund struggling to get off the mark domestically, the last thing that United need is another workhorse striker incapable of scoring.
Source From: Football Transfer News Archive including Premier League & La Liga
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