Transfer Window Worries: Right Wing

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA - AUGUST 08: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid attempts to get past Victor Lindelof of Manchester United during the UEFA Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Manchester United at the Philip II Arena on August 8, 2017 in Skopje, Macedonia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Welcome to the third installment of Transfer Window Worries. This column will highlight issues in the current squad shown in the first half of the season. Additionally, it will present three possible players who could be brought in to address the problem. The first will be an elite player who, if signed, would be the ideal fit. Secondly, a star-quality player ready to take the next step in their career. Finally, a safe signing who would bring much needed depth to the team.

Transfer Window Worries: Right Wing

The Issue

Manchester United have struggled to break down compact defenses at times this season. This is due to their tendency to predominately mount attacks directly from central positions, seldom attacking the flanks. According to Squawka, almost 60% of Manchester United’s chances originate from inside the box or directly outside of it. Conversely, less than 10% of opportunities come from the right wing.

The limited usage of the right flank comes down to the type of player that Manchester United play in this position. Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all thrive centrally and drift inwards when deployed as wingers, leaving all attacking responsibility to Antonio Valencia or Ashley Young. However, against stronger opposition the right backs struggle to get forward due to defensive obligations. When Valencia or Young aren’t in the lineup, the Red Devils are completely void of right-sided width. Manchester United need a direct, powerful winger who shines in 1-on-1 situations and will whip crosses into the box or get a shot on net.

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