It is not much of a secret that Manchester United are in need of a right-winger. In fairness, the 20-time Premier League champions are reportedly trying to amend the situation by pursuing Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, but for most of this season, their lack of a star man out on the right flank has hindered them.
Well, United have a lot of pacey players up front who thrive when there is space in attacking areas, such as Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial – however, sadly for them, you need width to create gaps in opposition defences, which this graph shows that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men aren’t making enough of.
Manchester United's XI in 2018-19 based on Minutes and Average Position pic.twitter.com/CWzKeZ5Z9N
— utdarena (@utdarena) March 21, 2019
Just one look at this graphic will tell you that United are relying on a 33-year-old Ashley Young to create the width down the right, whilst he also has his defensive duties to focus on.
If you look at the graph again, you can see just how tightly packed together Lukaku and Rashford are in the majority of the Red Devils’ fixtures. They are getting in each other’s way on the pitch, and by practically holding hands out on the turf, it makes the opposition centre-backs’ lives a lot easier.
If United had a Sancho-type winger who enjoys getting chalk on his boots out wide, then Rashford or Lukaku – whoever is chosen to play in the centre – would have a much more enjoyable time and a whole shed-load of space to run into.
Watch the video below to find out what Jesse Lingard is like off the pitch in the latest Match Of The Bae with Emma Conybeare…
This is also a problem as Young, as aforesaid, is almost 34 years of age and will not have the engine to keep getting up and down the flank, which will leave Solskjaer’s side susceptible to opposition attacks and will have the England international targeted by opponents as a result.
Signing a quality right-winger is the first and most important step in helping United return to their former glories.