Marcos Rojo not worth £16m as a central defender

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Manchester United new-boy Marcos Rojo is worth nowhere near £16 million as a central defender, according to Goncalo Lopes, who claims the Premier League giants paid an extortionate price, based on the player's impressive performances at left-back for Argentina during the World Cup.

The Daily Mail's Portuguese blogger has watched the 24-year-old extensively during his time at Sporting Lisbon, and has some worrying revelations for Red Devils supporters ahead of Rojo's expected first start at centre-back against Leicester City this weekend.

"Marcos Rojo is a better left back than a centre half, in my opinion," said Lopes. "Here in Portugal he played almost all of Sporting Lisbon's matches at centre back but for Argentina, he deployed is on the left side of the defence."

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Defensive reshuffle

The South American was deployed at left-back by Louis van Gaal for his debut in the 4-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford last weekend, but with fellow summer signing Luke Shaw back fit and ready for action Rojo will probably be moved inside to form a partnership with Jonny Evans or Tyler Blackett at the heart of Manchester United's defence.

Shaw joined the Red Devils from Southampton in a £30 million deal, and that's not the kind of money any club pays for a player to sit on the bench, so his availability will almost certainly force Van Gaal into a reshuffle of his back line.

However, Rojo's switch to a central defensive position could ultimately come back to bite Manchester United if Lopes's comments are anything to go by, because of the player's apparent inconsistency and lack of confidence in that role.

Lack of self-belief

"If Rojo does not have a solid player alongside him, there will be more mistakes," he explained. "I can say that the £16million which Manchester United paid was for Marcos Rojo the left back - he isn't worth that kind of money at centre half.

"He can still do it but not with the same effectiveness as in his favourite position of left back."

With Manchester United set to face newly-promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday it will be interesting to see how the World Cup finalist copes in his less favoured role in England's top-flight.

Failure to handle the pressure at centre-back could ultimately leave Van Gaal and the Red Devils red-faced after sanctioning the big-money transfer of the versatile Argentine on the basis of his efficiency on the left flank for his country in Brazil this summer.

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Louis van Gaal
Manchester United
Premier League

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