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The damning defensive stats that highlight Manchester United’s main issues

by Harry Henshaw

Manchester United fans had a lot of reasons to be optimistic this summer after strengthening both offensively and defensively.

Superstar signings in Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo gave United one of the most potent strike forces in the world.

But it was the signing of Raphael Varane that gave fans the most hope for the season, joining a back four that was already pretty solid.

Fast forward just a couple of months into the season and defensively United look a complete shambles.

Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire look almost unrecognisable from the men who fired England to the Euro 2020 final in the summer.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has allowed defensive mistakes to creep into his usually reliable game, meaning United have shipped nine goals in their last two Premier League games.

If it wasn’t for David De Gea returning to something close to his best form the situation would be even worse, and the stats don’t make for good reading:

Bottom of the league for tackles and errors leading to shots and 18th for clean sheets highlights the mess United currently find themselves in.

However, it cannot just be levelled at the back four as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current 4-2-4 system is simply offering no protection.

Attacking players neither press nor sit back in a compact shape, often leaving the two-man midfield pivot (a problem in itself) with large amounts of ground to cover.

One clean sheet in their last 21 matches is a damning statistic in itself, United seem lost and it very well may cost Solskjaer his job.

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