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Man Utd target Riccardo Calafiori shines in dramatic Italy draw vs Croatia

Manchester United target Riccardo Calafiori delivered a fantastic all-round performance during Italy’s dramatic 1-1 draw against Croatia at the 2024 European Championship last night.

The 22-year-old had a fantastic season with Bologna in Serie A. He was an undisputed starter in their defence as they qualified for the Champions League against the odds.

The versatile star has been tipped to pursue a bigger challenge this summer and it has been reported that United could be interested in signing him in a deal worth £34 million.

Calafiori made the headlines for the wrong reasons after his own goal gifted Spain with a win last week, but he made amends with an assist in the dying stages against Croatia.

With just seconds left on the clock, the centre-back made a superb lung-bursting run towards the opposition box unchallenged before laying the assist for Mattia Zaccagni’s equaliser.

Aside from his goal contribution, Calafiori also completed 93 percent of his passes and won 100 percent of his aerial duels. He made five clearances alongside two ball recoveries.

In our opinion, Man Utd should consider signing the young Italian instead of Jarrad Branthwaite.

He has already proved his credentials for club and country. Like the Everton ace, he is left-footed and has the ability to operate from the right and left side of central defence.

Calafiori has the added ability to operate from the left-back position too. With United eyeing reinforcement in the role, it appears a no-brainer decision to secure his signature.

The former Basel man is clearly a better option than Branthwaite. He had a passing accuracy of 92 percent last term, significantly higher than the Toffees defender (80 percent).

He was fantastic in the air with 71 percent of his aerial challenges won in Serie A. Calafiori made more recoveries than Branthwaite (6.5 to 5.2) with seven goal contributions.

All in all, he would be a better acquisition than Branthwaite for United for a lesser fee.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com