Manchester United’s first signing of the summer, Tyrell Malacia has caused a buzz among fans.
The 22 year old was set to sign for Olympique Lyon before United swooped in and hijacked the deal for £13 million plus add-ons.
Erik ten Hag is said to be a keen admirer of the player, whom he watched closely when playing in the Eredivisie.
However, many United fans were left surprised at the club signing a left back, especially when options are available.
With the arrival of Malacia, it is almost certain that one of them could leave the club.
Let us compare and analyse the three full backs, and see which one would be suitable for Ten Hag’s style of play.
Smarterscout drew out a chart comparing the three in various offensive and defensive areas. It is based off their performances last season.
Manchester United LBs:
🏴 Attacking output
🇳🇱 Defending quality
🇳🇱 Defending quantity
🇳🇱 Ball retention
🏴 Aerial duels
🇳🇱 1v1s in possession
🏴 1v1s out of possession
🇧🇷 Finishing in open play
— smarterscout (@smarterscout) July 6, 2022
One can decipher that Alex Telles is the weakest of the three. The Brazilian’s form towards the end of last season was dreadful, to say the least.
His poor positioning and lack of physicality cost United many goals. On the attack, he was reluctant to take on his man and often stopped to play a safe pass instead.
From next season, it looks like a direct shootout between Shaw and Malacia for the starting spot.
The Englishman is better aerially, and while defending 1-v-1 situations. Malacia on the other hand is more explosive and direct.
The 22 year does not shy away from taking his man on and is known for putting in dangerous low crosses to feed the striker.
He is also superior defensively and uses his speed to catch incoming wingers down the line. Last season he won a staggering 99% of his ground duels while in possession.
Lastly, Malacia is comfortable on the ball, a quality that will impress Ten Hag.
Shaw could get the nod at the start of the season, but do not be surprised if switches mid-way through the campaign.
I still have plenty of faith in Luke Shaw: I think Malacia & Shaw could provide a supercharged left-side for #MUFC. Alex Telles should be easy to move on. Now, time to look at the right-hand side of the pitch & midfield. The #MUTOUR22 will be interesting for us all to study… https://t.co/oalbqVkxuP
— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) July 6, 2022
Journalist Rob Blanchette also states: “I still have plenty of faith in Luke Shaw: I think Malacia & Shaw could provide a supercharged left-side for United“
“Alex Telles should be easy to move on. Now, time to look at the right-hand side of the pitch & midfield. The pre-season tour will be interesting for us all to study…”