Create
Notifications

'That kid at left-back is amazing.' A look at Tyrell Malacia, Dutch defender set to become Erik ten Hag's first signing at Manchester United

Manchester United are close to signing 22-year-old Feyenoord left back.
Manchester United are close to signing 22-year-old Feyenoord left back.
Maurice Monye

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a fee of about £15 million for Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia. He is set to be Erik ten Hag’s first signing after the club beat Lyon to his signature. He was born in Rotterdam to Curaçaoan and Suranimese parents.

Tyrell Malacia will fly to Manchester on Sunday in order to undergo first part of medical tests and then sign the contract as new Manchester United player. 🚨🛩 #MUFC Medical will be completed on Monday as club duties too, Malacia will sign until 2026-option for further season.

The Dutch left-back joined the Feyenoord youth academy in 2008 and is a Netherlands international. He signed his first professional contract in 2015 and made his debut two years later in a Champions League win over Napoli. He played the full game against the Serie A side in Rotterdam that night and was then given his Eredivisie debut seven days later against Heerenveen.

Malacia, also known as “The Pitbull” is a talented left back. He has received loads of praise in the Eredivisie for his tenacity, aggression and offensive contributions. He received praise from his new manager while Ten Hag was at Ajax. "That kid at left-back is amazing. Take note of him," Ten Hag told coach Michael Reiziger when Ajax beat Feyenoord in March.

Malacia’s player profile

He won the KNVB Cup with the Dutch club in 2017-18 He registered 35 key passes last season.
He won the KNVB Cup with the Dutch club in 2017-18 He registered 35 key passes last season.

Malacia is a left-footed left back and isn’t recorded to have played in any other position. He is 22 and was born August 17, 1999. He is 5 ft 6 in (169cm) and weighs about 67kg. His injury record is fair, missing only three games last season due to injury-related problems. The left-back won the KNVB Cup with Fayenoord in 2017-18 and the Johan Cruyff Shield in 2018.

Manchester United have contracts already signed with Feyenoord for Tyrell Malacia deal, waiting for player to fly to England today afternoon and undergo first part of medical tests 🔴 #MUFC Second part of medicals scheduled on Monday morning then first signing will be official.

Malacia’s offensive abilities

The left back against Slavia Praha in UEFA Europa Conference League
The left back against Slavia Praha in UEFA Europa Conference League

Malacia's contribution to the attack at Feyenoord cannot go unnoticed. Forty per cent of Feyenoord’s attacks came from the left wing, showing a heavy reliance of the team on him and winger Luis Sinisterra.

He likes to hold the width and often attempts to beat his man. He recorded 50 successful dribbles last season, the most by an Eredivisie defender. His continued entry into the final third led to 35 key passes last season, ranking him number 20 in the division.

🤤 Tyrell Malacia completed more dribbles (50) than any other defender in the Eredivisie last season https://t.co/f9mWjsrgSF

His passing also holds merit as he recorded four assists and six accurate through balls. His six accurate through balls rank him third in the division. He has a good amount of pace and his physicality and desire is one of the reasons he is wanted.

Malacia’s defensive abilities

Lorenzo Pellegrini is challenged by the left back during the UEFA Conference League final
Lorenzo Pellegrini is challenged by the left back during the UEFA Conference League final

Malacia is known for his tenacity and pace. He relishes physical battles with the opposition, and this is why he earned his nickname, “The Pitbull.” He made a combined 122 tackles and interceptions in the Eredivisie last season. He does not appear likely to win physical battles but he imposes himself well in a challenge.

His ability to perform attacking and defensive duties left coaches around Europe in admiration of him. His attacking prowess doesn’t leave him defensively weak, a problem many offensive fullbacks struggle with.

This could be crucial for Ten Hag. He will try to play a high pressing system with his team demanding that his full-backs be positionally aware and able to recover. He is very pacey, with modern full-backs and wing-backs needing speed and endurance to perform their roles. His physicality and tenacity complements his pace largely.

Malacia's weaknesses

Cody Gakpo battles for the ball with the 22-year-old left back
Cody Gakpo battles for the ball with the 22-year-old left back

Malacia, like every young talent, has his flaws and areas in his game to work on. His great pace and tenacity often come at a disadvantage to the defensive side of his game. His defensive positioning is often caught lacking, with his wing often being exploited by the opposition.

He makes up for this with his recovery pace and last ditch attempts but this could be exploited in a superior league. He also seems to lack positioning going forward. He sometimes fails to drop into the right pockets and holes to receive the ball in advanced positions. However, some of the blame might fall on the tactics of the team.

Malacia’s future

The 22-year-old in action for Netherlands
The 22-year-old in action for Netherlands

Overall, he is a fantastic young talent and would be a great addition to Manchester United. With Luke Shaw and Alex Telles currently at the club in the left-back position, it would be nice to see some competition. However, Telles is reportedly on his way out of the club.


Paul Merson has predicted all the GW 1 fixtures of the Premier League. More details right here

Edited by Manas Mitul

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...