Manchester United’s full back situation has been a major focus of improvement, according to Laurie Whitwell.
The Athletic journalist reports that the club began searching for a player to reinforce the right-back position before the transfer window opened.
However, Erik ten Hag instead pushed to bring in Tyrell Malacia at left back, having been unconvinced by Alex Telles.
The Brazilian has since gone out on loan to Sevilla and while the new recruit has impressed enough to make that slot look well-stocked, the right side of the defence remains an issue.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a favourite under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, does not seem at all suited to proactive possession football.
He has endured a torrid preseason, definitively losing his place to Diogo Dalot and suffering an illness that put him out of contention for United’s final two warmup matches.
United are expected to field bids for the defender before the window closes, with Crystal Palace interested in taking him back on a loan deal.
Ethan Laird is also in talks over a loan move to Watford as he looks to continue his development through regular gametime.
While Brandon Williams could be considered as a further option, he appears to be far more comfortable at left back, despite his footedness.
Although Dalot has been very impressive out on tour, Erik ten Hag appears to have no viable options to cover him, much less challenge him.
With a deep midfielder the priority signing, and further strength needed up front, it appears Ten Hag may have to make do with the current situation at full back.
Given the physically demanding requirements and offensive expectation placed on wide defenders in the new manager’s system, that would be less than ideal.
In any case, it seems that Ten Hag will be forced to offer a lifeline to a player unsuited to his methods, with Wan-Bissaka the most likely candidate.
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