Erik ten Hag unearthed Manchester United's wildcard right-back option at the perfect time
Manchester United’s injury list became longer on Monday as the club confirmed right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is set for a period on the sidelines after picking up a knock against Brighton.
Wan-Bissaka didn't start the game as he had been battling an illness in the build-up to the clash. The 25-year-old becomes the third United full-back to be on the Carrington treatment table, with left-backs Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia already missing. Sergio Reguilon was drafted in on deadline day as United's injuries began to mount.
Another loan signing Erik ten Hag added to his side on deadline day was midfielder Sofyan Amrabat who joined from Serie A side Fiorentina. Amrabat left the Morocco national team early during the recent international break as he too had picked up an injury, though he isn't expected to be out for too long.
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Speaking before the loss to Brighton, Ten Hag revealed he sees Amrabat as a versatile member of the squad. He said: “What we missed in our squad was behind Casemiro, another one, a typical holding midfielder. Amrabat can play alongside Casemiro, also capable in a higher position. He can play as a wing-back or full-back.”
Ten Hag hasn't been afraid to play two holding midfield players in the past, meaning Amrabat could slot in alongside Casemiro. The Moroccan is comfortable in possession, and so Ten Hag’s belief that he could be a makeshift right-back should be no surprise given the sudden rise of the inverted full-back role.
Pep Guardiola has often asked one of his full-backs to support the midfield when in possession, with the likes of Rico Lewis, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo all stepping into