With Erik ten Hag finally landing his new goalkeeper Andre Onana, the focus has turned towards a number two, with strong links to Urawa Reds sensation Zion Suzuki. The signing of the Japan youth international would signify a major overhaul of Manchester United’s goalkeeping department, adopting a unit adept at ball-playing, sweeping, and commanding in their area.
With rumours United is on the verge of triggering his £5m release clause, let’s take a look at Suzuki and if he is a good fit for Ten Hag’s United.
Is Zion Suzuki the Right Fit For Manchester United?
With a reported release clause of £5m, Zion Suzuki would represent the most expensive export from J-League. However, the reported fee is certainly an inflated number of his true value, at least at the moment. With this deal, you’re paying for the potential, both on and off the pitch.
While the fee may be somewhat high, the Japanese keeper offers a lot more than his on-field ability. Signing Suzuki opens the door to the Asian market, one United has not represented on the pitch since Shinji Kagawa pulled on red at Old Trafford. £5m for an exciting talent who could well become the face of Manchester United in Japan and wider Asia is a good deal in itself, but all Ten Hag will be worried about is his suitability on the pitch.
One thing United need is continuity in their goalkeeping department. In other words, the number two needs to be a similar profile to the number one, soon to be Onana.
Onana was signed due to his impressive passing range, consistent sweeping, and command of his area. A brief look at Zion Suzuki tells you that he is a suitable backup, but looking deeper, there are certainly some concerns.
There isn’t a lot of footage available of the 20-year-old, but from what you can see, he is raw. You can tell the young ‘keeper has potential, and he definitely suits the modern role of his position.
His long-passing is his best trait, and it definitely makes him appear to be a candidate for second choice. Whereas his decision-making, namely flapping at crosses, he should be claiming is a real issue.
However, at a club like Manchester United, which possesses top-quality coaches and staff, ironing out these flaws should come as no issue.
At just 20, Suzuki represents a talent that can be refined and one that can grow into an elite keeper.
With United probably capable of fetching a similar fee for Matej Kovar, £5m seems like it could well be a sound investment from the Red Devils this summer to bring in a talent who improves the goalkeeping department, as well as increase the commercial side of the club.
Writer and content creator at Attacking Football.