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Man United: Ten Hag could find Malacia 2.0 in Devyne Rensch

One area that Manchester United may well still be looking to strengthen this month is at right-back, with speculation still mounting regarding the future of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

While the 25-year-old has forced his way back into Erik ten Hag‘s thinking in recent weeks due to Diogo Dalot‘s injury woes – having started the last four Premier League games – there had been prior reports that the Englishman would be allowed to leave in the current transfer window amid mounting interest from a number of top-flight clubs.

With it still yet to be seen if the £50m signing will be trusted in the long-term, it would seemingly be no surprise if the United manager does look to secure a more suitable fit in the coming weeks or during the summer, in order to provide competition to the aforementioned Dalot.

According to a recent report from The Sun, one player who could well be an option for the Old Trafford outfit on the right-hand side of defence is Ajax starlet Devyne Rensch, with the 19-year-old having previously played under Ten Hag for the Amsterdam club.

The teenager has enjoyed a promising campaign for the Eredivisie giants so far, notably scoring twice and laying on one assist in his 14 league appearances – all of which have come from the start – while also averaging 1.8 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game to illustrate his defensive prowess.

Interestingly as far as the Red Devils are concerned, the 5 foot 10 Netherlands international – who has been described as “incredible” by journalist Sizwe Jacques Mbebe – shares a number of statistical and stylistic similarities with his compatriot and current United defender Tyrell Malacia, as per FBref.

Although the latter typically lines up on the left flank, the two assets seem well-suited to Ten Hag’s progressive approach as they are both comfortable in possession, with Malacia enjoying an average pass completion rate of 86.8%, while Rensch is only slightly higher in that regard at 87%.

The duo are also particularly combative, as the Ajax starlet averages 2.23 tackles per game. The former Feyenoord man averages 2.7 per game for that same metric, having already showcased his dogged defensive prowess during his short time at the Theatre of Dreams so far.

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Malacia was most notably impressive in United’s recent triumph over Manchester City, having been described as “immense” by journalist Nathan Quao for his display after recording three tackles and two interceptions in his 89 minutes on the pitch.

While the 23-year-old’s time in England hasn’t all been plain sailing up to now – having been hooked at half-time in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium – such a performance has illustrated just what an astute signing his £14.7m capture has been for Ten Hag and co.

As such, to be able to bring in a younger version of Malacia in the form of Rensch could well be yet another piece of impressive business for a manager who appears to be getting little wrong both on the pitch and in the transfer market at present.