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Gary Neville: Manchester United have a problem at left back this season

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho has a problem at left back this season.

Stoke City presented Man United with a number of problems by exploiting the space left in behind by Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones on the left hand side during the 2-2 draw earlier this month – something crystallised by Jean-Eric Choupo-Moting’s opening goal.

And it was once again a cause for concern against Everton, with Coco Martina and Tom Davies enjoying plenty of space going forward as Ashley Young found himself isolated at left back.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville noted that Mourinho will need to address an area that continues to give them problems this season.

“I think the problem is on the other side at left-back, where Ashley Young was put under a lot of pressure by [Tom] Davies and [Cuco] Martina,” he said. “Blind’s played there, Rojo’s played there, Shaw’s played there, Darmian’s played there, they can’t button that one down.

“But Valencia at right-back has been absolutely fantastic.”

The key to any successful side is an element of continuity and assurance, but United’s left hand side continues to serve as a murky aspect of an otherwise well-organised team.

We have only played five Premier League games and Daley Blind, Darmian and Young have all featured at left-back, with nobody showing signs of having what it takes to occupy the role on a regular basis. This is an area that opponents will look to target and Mourinho will just have to pray that Luke Shaw, this time around, can make that position his own when he returns to action.

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