We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge

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Manchester United continue to be linked with RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara, who is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with Mali.

Manchester Evening News understands that the club’s midfield is the main area in which United are targeting in the transfer market over the next few months, despite Reds manager Rangnick telling fans not to expect any signings this month.

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According to the Mirror, United face competition from Newcastle for Haidara ‘s signature this month, with Leipzig said to be open to selling the Mali international this month. The report also claims that the German side has verbally agreed a £33million fee with Rangnick for the Malian midfielder.

The 23-year-old midfielder has grown into a key player for Leipzig since signing for the club from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg in 2016, and found the net against United in the Champions League back in December 2020, his first goal in the competition.

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So, would Haidara be a good signing for United this month? And, what kind of impact could he have at the club|?

We ‘signed’ Amadou Haidara for Man United in January to find out!

We ‘signed’ Amadou Haidara for Man United in January 2022

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To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Haidara to join United at the start of the upcoming January 2022 transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation.

This is how Haidara’s in-game profile looks on FM22.

We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge
© Football Manager 2022 Amadou Haidara’s in-game FM22 profile.

Haidara’s FM22 profile shows that he excels as a tireless box-to-box midfielder, with good technical and physical stats, specifically in his stamina, work rate and determination.

This would suit Rangnick’s high-pressing style of play and improve the energy in United’s midfield, with Haidara covering more ground and space to stop counter-attacks and support attacking play from a deeper position.

Let’s take a look at how Haidara performed throughout the second half of the 2021/22 season after signing for United in January 2022.

We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge
© Football Manager 2022 Amadou Haidara’s stats for United in the 2021/22 season.

Haidara made 20 appearances for United across all competitions, scoring four goals in those games, but the Malian midfielder was unable to register any assists in the 2021/22 season at Old Trafford.

Haidara registered a 93% pass completion rate for United, showing his brilliant ability to retain possession and start attacking moves. Haidara’s defensive efforts were impressive with the Malian midfielder completing 82% of his tackles, along with 44 clearances in just 20 games.

Haidara also had a brilliant average match rating of 7.05 during his time at United, showing his consistency as he ranked as the sixth-best performer at the club.

At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best United XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is what United’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2021/22 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:

We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge
© Football Manager 2022 United’s best XI in the 2021/22 season.

Full United best XI (4-2-2-2): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Haidara; Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford, Ronaldo.

Haidara’s performances for United saw him feature in the best XI under Rangnick for the 2021/22 season, alongside Scott McTominay in the defensive midfield positions.

So, how did United perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Haidara in the January transfer window?

Man United’s results from the 2021/22 simulation

We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge
© Football Manager 2022 United finished second in the Premier League.

United finished in second place in the Premier League 2021/22 season, seven points behind fierce rivals Man City who lifted the title, with Haidara’s arrival sparking a remarkable upturn in form for the Reds.

Following Haidara’s arrival, United would only lose one game in the rest of the season, drawing twice and winning 15 times.

Haidara’s performances allowed United to overtake the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea to finish second in the league for a second successive year, level on goal difference with Pep Guardiola’s City side. Rangnick’s side finished five points better off with a better goal difference by +7 in the 2021/22 season compared to Solskjaer’s side last season.

So, how did United perform in the cup competitions?

We 'signed' Amadou Haidara for Man United in January and his impact was huge
© Football Manager 2022 United’s performances across all competitions.

United finished as runners-up in the FA Cup final after losing on penalties to Liverpool, following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

The Reds were unable to progress past the round of 16 in the Champions League, as Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain side beat United over two legs.

Overall Football Manager predicts that if Amadou Haidara were to sign for United in January, the Malian midfielder could make a big impact for the club. The 23-year-old’s impressive passing and tackling statistics showed just how good he could be in the defensive midfield role for United, providing consistent performances and a stable platform to allow the creative, attacking players to perform freely.

Would you like to see Amadou Haidara sign for United? Let us know in the comments!

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