Axel Disasi to Manchester United – is he the right fit?

Jainil Shah
By Jainil Shah
6 Min Read

With the Kim Min Jae transfer seemingly slipping away, Manchester United‘s search for a center-back continues. One name that has emerged as a possible option is Axel Disasi from AS Monaco. While the French defender brings several qualities to the table, there are still doubts about whether he is the right fit for the club.

Axel Disasi is a French professional footballer and a youth academy product of Paris FC. He made his professional debut in a 1–0 loss to RC Lens on 11 December 2016.

Disasi was able to find the limelights at Reims after commanding a regular first-team place, and next thing you know all the big clubs including Arsenal had his name on the radar – he showed exceptional maturity at a tender age and proficiency in his positioning and with the ball at his feet, amassing 85% accurate passes per game then. But he took another detour to develop his game with AS Monaco. Although it is to be argued his passing numbers have gone down, his attempts of passes have become more progressive, with those pinning balls beating the midfield line every now and then.

We will take a closer look at Disasi’s strengths and weaknesses, evaluating how his attributes could contribute to the team and whether he is a suitable fit for Manchester United’s playing style.


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Standing at an imposing six feet three inches (189cm), Disasi possesses a strong and stocky build, making him a powerful and dominant presence on the pitch. That physique complemented with his ability to excel in ground duels and aerial challenges, consistently coming out on top in a high percentage of these encounters. His ability to use his body effectively is an asset. A standout attribute of Disasi’s game is his exceptional aerial prowess. He ranks in the 86th percentile for the percentage of aerial duels won [5th in the French League], a testament to his ability to dominate in the air. In an area where Manchester United has had weaknesses, Disasi’s aerial ability could prove invaluable, particularly in deeper defensive positions.

Disasi’s assertive and aggressive style of play suits the defensive philosophy desired by Eric ten Hag; he exhibits a proactive approach, frequently stepping up to intercept passes [ranked #6 in pass interceptions in the French League with 222 pass interceptions last season] and applying pressure on opponents. This willingness to defend on the front foot can disrupt opposition play and create turnovers. His reading of the game allows him to anticipate danger and make timely interventions. These qualities contribute to his effectiveness as a box defender, providing an additional layer of protection for the team. Disasi demonstrates good awareness, positioning, and reaction speed, making him effective in defending within and around the penalty area.


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One area where Disasi struggles is defending against skilful dribblers in wider positions. His turning radius and agility are not exceptional, making it challenging for him to handle players attempting to dribble past him. Skilful opponents who can change pace and direction quickly can exploit this weakness, potentially exposing him in one-on-one situations. He’s in the bottom 4% for the number of tackles made at 0.3 per 90.

The thing that should worry most of the United faithful is his pace, he has been exposed time and time again for his pace and Manchester United already have someone whose lack of pace has made them a laughing stock.

His technical skills and upper-body strength enable him to protect the ball effectively, but he lacks the precision and creativity required for incisive passing. This could pose challenges in a possession-based system like Manchester United’s.


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Axel Disasi – in all honesty, this to me is a curious transfer. While he excels in ball development and exhibits good defensive abilities, he’s athletic and powerful, and he possesses a lot of physical strength – the fact that he is not very good at one-on-one defense and has relatively poor tackling statistics and that pace raises questions about his overall preparedness for playing a high line at Old Trafford.

Yes, he could provide that carry the ball ability and contribute offensively, but his role is to defend and ten Hag needs to be smart in deciding if we want to buy him. Finding a player that specializes in one-on-one matchups and can consistently contribute defensively should be the top priority when you play a high-line as you’d be exposed time and time again and those traits will come in handy then…

This is a no go transfer for me, but if Man United were to carry on and buy him… it’ll be interesting in how ETH develops Axel and moreover how he contains from him getting exposed.

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