Hi I’m Masa United.
On 1 July, United agreed to acquire left-back Tyrell Mlracia from Feyenoord for €15m + €2m add-on. No official announcement has been made yet, but he is expected to be the first player to be acquired in this summer’s transfer market.
This time, it’s about new member Tyrell Malasia! Malacia is a young full-back who is attracting attention. I think there are many people who say, “I’ve heard the name, but I don’t know it well.” We’ve put together a profile, playing style, and role at United. Please use it as a reference!
Here’s today’s table of contents
(1) Background of the transfer
It’s just under a sudden turn. On 28 June, just as United were closing in on acquiring Frenkie de Jong, foreign media suddenly reported on Feyenoord club Tyrell Malasia’s move to United. Despite being named as a target for United, Malasia’s move to Lyon last week had reached an oral agreement between the clubs and all that was left was for them to await a formal decision. However, during negotiations to acquire Frenkie, United also discussed Malasia, where they have the same agent, and secured a club-to-club agreement with Feyenoord in a way that “hijacked” the negotiations. By the way, HCM Sports Management, which manages De Jong and Malasia, is also an agent company for Van de Beek and Lindelof.
Malacia is a left-back who plays for Feyenoord and is said to be a favourite of coach Ten Hag. Ten Hag, who was in charge of Ajax last summer, tried to acquire Malasia but gave up because of the strong rivalry between Ajax and Feyenoord. There is no doubt that the transfer hijacking was largely influenced by the intentions of coach Ten Hag. The left-back wasn’t a high reinforcement priority, but at €15m, he couldn’t afford to miss out on a chance to get it.
Player’s name: Tyrell Malacia
Date of Birth: 17.08.1999 (22 years old)
Nationality: Netherlands / Curaçao
Jersey Number: 12
Team Career: Feyenoord Youth (2008~2017)→ Feyenoord (17-18~ 21-22) → United (22-23~) Handedness: Left
Contract Termination Year: 30 June 2026 (with 1 year extension option)
Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Malasia has its roots in Curaçao (the same as Tahith Chong). He started playing football with the local football club RVV DHZ and then went through Overmaas Rotterdam in the same Rotterdam before joining the youth club Feyenoord in 2008 at the age of nine.Embed from Getty Images
He will step up to the U-19 squad in the 17-18 season, but will make his first-team debut on 6 December 2017 in the final match of the Champions League GS against Napoli. This is Feyenoord’s debut at the age of 18 years and 111 days, making him the youngest player ever to play in the Champions League. In the 17–18 season, he played 11 games in the Eredivisie. The team won the Dutch Cup, their first title for Malasia. He continued to play for the first team in the following 18-19 season, but was limited to 17 appearances due to injury.
With each passing season, he gradually increased his playing time and established himself as a mainstay. In the 21-22 season, he played 50 official matches. He has one goal and five assists. They reached the final of the UEFA Conference League in the 21–22 season. Despite a disappointing defeat in the final against Mourinho’s Roma, Malacia was named in the UEFA’s Team of the Tournament. He also made his debut for the Netherlands on 4 September 2021, and has played in five matches so far.Embed from Getty Images
(3) Playing style
Malacia’s characteristics are their tenacious defence and attacking participation that makes full use of their speed. According to SofaScore data from last season, he finished seventh in the league with 86 tackles. He also has 171 land-based duel wins, fourth in the league. When receiving a counter, the return is also fast, and the scene where you go back to your own side and prevent a pinch is impressive. Sliding tackle is also a characteristic of Marasia, which is why he often shows sharp tackles with Wan-bissaka upholstery. At 169 cm, there is no upper back, but it is strong in hitting and seems to be a problem defensively.Embed from Getty Images
In terms of offense, he ranks 15th in the league with 50 successful dribbles and 25th in key passes with 37. Big Chance Create finished 13th in eight innings. Straight and speedy dribbling is a threat to opposing defenders and difficult to stop. The timing and speed of the overlap are also excellent, and personally, I am reminiscent of Patric Evra. In addition, it is also a characteristic of Malasia that they often create chances with passes rather than crosses. Even when raising a cross, it seems that they prefer a low, fast cross rather than a mountainous one.
And I think another Malasia weapon is play awareness and positioning. Having played as a left-back since his youth years, he knows how to move effectively in this position. Even if we are at a 2-on-1 numerical disadvantage on the side, we don’t panic, and we can anticipate and respond to the next opponent’s play. And the positioning and the orientation of the body at that time are also exactly accurate. Perhaps Ten Hag appreciates these aspects of Malasia.
(4) Role at United
It was a favorite of Ten Hag’s, and he was listing it as a target and monitoring the situation. I don’t think the priority was high, but because Lyon moved to acquire him, United also moved. United’s left-back is alive and well with Shaw, who is about to reach the peak of his career, and Telles, who had a lot of opportunities last season. In addition, Brandon Williams is back from loan, and from the academy, Álvaro Fernández is also eyeing a first-team appearance. Despite the fact that the number of players is sufficient, it is reasonable to assume that the Ten Hag coach feels that the current squad is lacking in terms of quality.
When it comes to the show, it’s not a question of quality, it’s more about the condition, but Therese, who will be a back-up, is a bit tough judging by his performance last season. He also recorded some assists and made a good impression on the team, but he didn’t give the team any sense of security, especially in terms of defence. I think the fact that we acquired Malacia has a strong connotation of being a back-upper to replace Telles. Reports have also said that the offer to Therese is open and could be released. For Brandon, joining Malasia will be painful as well. He wants to play for United but will probably have few opportunities to play. I think that I will come out with a loan again.Embed from Getty Images
Malasia will also be expected to succeed Shaw. First of all, you need to get used to the intensity and speed of the Premierleague, but I want to believe that if you are a player that Coach Ten Hag expects, you can bring your potential to life.
The acquisition of Malacia this time was just a sudden turnaround, but at first I thought that I was in a hurry because I had an offer from another team as a target. However, if you think about it calmly, it may be a method to bring it to an agreement between the clubs at once at an affordable price by making an offer with conditions that exceed that (lol). The front desk has obviously changed this summer. I can feel the firm intention to change there.
Malacia is the type that can contribute to offense and defense. It’s still the first choice for Shaw, but considering the future, he’s a player I’m looking forward to. It may be difficult at first, but I hope you will disappoint them in a good way.
Thank you for reading until the end!