Manchester United booked their spot in the FA Cup semi-final yesterday following a 3-1 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford.
The Cottagers were the better side for more than an hour of the quarter-final tie, but the momentum completely shifted after Willian and Aleksandar Mitrovic were sent off within seconds of each other.
United went on to seal a comfortable 3-1 win from one goal down. Bruno Fernandes and David de Gea were the top performers, but there was one Fulham player that caught our eye from the contest.
Joao Palhinha has been fantastic for the Cottagers since arriving from Sporting last summer and he was once again impressive against United, winning an impressive nine out of 12 duels contested.
The Portuguese star also won four tackles, three interceptions and completed three take-ons. The 27-year-old held his own in the centre of the park and lost possession on just eight occasions.
Palhinha was regularly linked with the Red Devils at the beginning of last year but he ended up making the surprise switch to west London from Sporting for an initial fee of around £17 million.
It has been reported that United are back in the hunt for the midfielder now valued at £40m and in our view, he would be a fantastic acquisition, having proved his credentials at Fulham.
The Red Devils currently have Casemiro as the regular number six but there has been a dip in the performances when the Brazilian has been unavailable due to his suspensions.
Scott McTominay and Fred have not provided the same defensive resolve. With talk of the former leaving, Palhinha can be regarded as a solid upgrade. He could also play alongside Casemiro.
Palhinha has made a stunning 101 tackles in the league this term, 43 more than Casemiro. If United were to sign him, Erik ten Hag would finally have another elite defensive midfielder.
Stats from Premierleague.com and Sofascore.com
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