Five players Manchester United should scout at Copa America 2024

The Hard Tackle lists five players Manchester United should scout at the upcoming month-long Copa America 2024.

The Copa America returns this week with its 42nd edition, with the USA hosting the event for the first time since 2016.  Usually a tournament for South American nations, the 2024 event features teams from North and South America. Meanwhile, clubs from across the world, including Manchester United, will set their sights on the oldest-ever continental event.

Clubs usually view multi-team events like the FIFA World Cup, the Copa America, the UEFA European Championships, and others as the one-stop shop to scout talent, run the rule over existing targets and identify new candidates for their wishlist for an upcoming transfer window.

Manchester United will be no different, with the Red Devils expected to dispatch scouts to watch highly-rated prospects and existing targets at the 2024 Copa America. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists five players Manchester United should have on the menu for the quadrennial event. We have listed a right-back, a centre-back, a midfielder, a winger, and a striker.

Willian Pacho

Many highly-rated centre-backs will take the field at the 2024 Copa America, including Piero Hincapie and Lucas Beraldo. However, we have chosen Willian Pacho as the ideal candidate to bolster the Manchester United backline after their scouting mission in the USA.

While the Red Devils need a right-footed centre-back after losing Raphael Varane as a free agent, Jean-Clair Todibo or the ambipedal Jarrad Brantwhaite will replace the Frenchman. So, we have picked the left-footed Willian Pacho, considering Lisandro Martinez’s fitness issues in the 2023/24 season.

The 22-year-old has been exceptional for Eintracht Frankfurt, establishing himself as one of the best young defenders in the Bundesliga. His exploits have alerted several high-profile clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Real Madrid. However, Manchester United should look to beat the other bigwigs to Willian Pacho’s signature.

The Ecuadorian international is adept with the ball at his feet and has a no-nonsense style of defending. That makes him perfect for Erik ten Hag’s system at Manchester United. So, he should be on the menu for the Premier League heavyweights.

Yan Couto

The Red Devils should sign a right-back in the summer transfer window, considering the uncertainties surrounding the long-term future of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. While Diogo Dalot has improved, Manchester United can do with an alternative to the Portuguese international. That brings Yan Couto into the picture.

The Brazilian international was exceptional for Girona in the 2023/24 season, playing his part in the Catalan outfit’s top-four finish, which helped them qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Couto’s exploits at Estadi Montilivi have alerted several well-known outfits.

Widespread reports have linked the Brazilian international with Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. However, Manchester United should take advantage of Couto’s uncertain future at Manchester City and poach him away from the Etihad.

Couto’s productivity in the 2023/24 season was impressive as he chipped in with two goals and ten assists in 39 appearances across all competitions. The youngster’s creative output makes him an attractive right-back target for Manchester United, meaning they should send scouts to watch him in action for Brazil.

Johnny Cardoso

Manchester United should sign a young holding midfielder in the summer transfer window amid uncertainties surrounding the long-term future of Casemiro. The veteran midfielder was well off his best in the 2023/24 season and might depart from Old Trafford in the summer transfer window. That brings Johnny Cardoso into the picture.

The 22-year-old was exceptional in his debut campaign with Real Betis, taking no time to settle down at the Andalusian club after arriving from Internacional. The youngster showed no teething problems in his first foray into Europe. In addition, Cardoso is already a regular for the USMNT.

So, Manchester United can get a good look at him if they dispatch scouts to watch him in action for the USA. Cardoso is a combative midfielder who makes stiff tackles. However, he also reads the game well and is imposing in the air. Those qualities should make him an attractive target for Manchester United, where he can form a long-term partnership with Kobbie Mainoo.

Dario Osorio

The right-wing berth has proven problematic for Manchester United for an eternity. The Red Devils pinned their hopes on Jadon Sancho and Antony in recent seasons without getting the required output from either player. In turn, they have wasted over £150 million in transfer fees. So, Dario Osorio is a player they should scout at the Copa America 2024.

The 20-year-old has been exceptional for Midtjylland since arriving from his homeland last summer. Osorio amassed nine goals and two assists in 1,317 minutes of game time, producing impressive numbers in his debut season for the Danish outfit.

Meanwhile, Osorio’s exploits have helped him earn a suitor, with Liverpool keeping tabs on his progress. So, Manchester United might have added incentive to rob their bitter rivals of a target while potentially solving their long-standing right-wing issues. Scouting him should lead to a summer move.

Jonathan David

Our final suggestion is a striker, considering Rasmus Hojlund is the only recognised centre-forward in Erik ten Hag’s squad. We are talking about Jonathan David, one of the most highly sought-after attackers in the market heading into the summer transfer window.

The Canadian international has been superb for LOSC Lille in the last few years while being one of the most prolific attackers in Ligue 1 in recent seasons. So, it is hardly surprising that Premier League bigwigs like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham have closely monitored his progress at the French club.

Manchester United should also have David on their wishlist, considering he can add a lot of much-needed goals to their offensive output. The 24-year-old is a fox in the box while also possessing the ability to stitch play together with his hold-up ability. So, there is no reason why Manchester United should not scout the Canadian international.

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