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The summer solution, Manchester United has possibilities in the transfermarket

By Angus Barnes

The summer solution, Manchester United has possibilities in the transfermarket

Man United plan to strengthen their full-back options in the summer transfer window.

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One of Erik ten Hag's biggest selection headaches during pre-season was caused by who would become Manchester United's first-choice right-back. After Diogo Dalot made a storming start to the 2022/23 campaign, the Portugal international encountered a couple of injury issues after the World Cup in Qatar.

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That meant Aaron Wan-Bissaka was drafted back in from the cold and given the opportunity, against all odds, to resurrect his Old Trafford career. Having featured just once prior to the World Cup, Wan-Bissaka ended the season with a respectable 34 appearances to his name. He started eight of United's last 10 Premier League matches, establishing himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet.

The 26-year-old topped the right-back pecking order at the start of this season, too, starting each of United's first four Premier League matches before a hamstring injury derailed his start to the campaign. He has since been in out of the team and has missed the last three matches with an unspecified injury. Manager Erik ten Hag, speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to Aston Villa at his pre-match press conference yesterday, confirmed Wan-Bissaka had attempted to train yesterday morning but had to withdraw from the session, casting doubt over his availability for the trip to Villa Park.

Though his hopes of featuring in the Midlands have not been completely quashed, it would take something special for him to dislodge Dalot from the right-back berth. Arguably the unsung hero of United's recent resurrection, the latter has more than played his part in the recent Premier League victories over Wolves and West Ham United. Featuring in 31 of United's 33 matches in all competitions so far this season, the 24-year-old has produced performances in each of the last two games that were reminiscent of his showings prior to the World Cup, a period which saw him enjoy his best spell in a United shirt. Often moving inside to carry out the duty of an inverted right-back, Dalot doubled-up with Casemiro to form the base of United's midfield when they had possession.

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Role in the team

The inverted full-back tactic is something that is becoming a more regular theme in football nowadays, not least among the elite-level teams. It is a system the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City regularly deploy. Dalot's ability to move inside and create a midfield overload was certainly apparent at Molineux. He also made it his mission to bomb forward in wide areas and provide support, with his low cross playing a key role in the build-up to Marcus Rashford's opener.


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