South America meets Africa: Manchester United’s right flank next season?

Manchester United’s left flank looks pretty dynamic going forward, with Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial probably Louis van Gaal’s best signings during his two years at the club.

Behind them you have the likes of Depay and Borthwick-Jackson so there is real depth on that flank.

But the right side is much more messy.

Antonio Valencia is a hard-working if unremarkable player who lacks real finesse. Matteo Darmian’s future looks uncertain and Timothy Fosu-Mensah has a lot still to learn.

And while the youngsters will be given a chance to shine José Mourinho’s first objective is to get United back in The Champions League and challenging for the title next season.

So he will surely improve that right side. Willian has been touted as a possible arrival with The Guardian stating last week:

José Mourinho joins Manchester United and sets sights on signing Willian

He will of course be an extremely difficult player to capture and was Chelsea’s top performer last season. But he would offer exactly the sort of penetration, guile and running power that Manchester United, and Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 system, require.

And TFF thinks that Eric Bailly could be used on the right side of defence in his early time at the club, if signed. Rumours today suggest that a medical is taking place at Old Trafford for the youngster. He is still raw at 22 and may be preferred in a slightly less pivotal position than centre-back as he continues to learn his trade. He’s a great athlete, a great tackler and has real pace. Add this to his penchant for carrying the ball out of defence and we think he could be the perfect right-back for Manchester United at times next season.

Furthermore, we feel that Manchester United way may well move for John Stones this summer and Chris Smalliing should be guaranteed a start next-term. If those two were both at the club then Bailly might find a position on the right side to be the most attainable spot in the side to begin with.

Manchester United have a host of other defenders who we haven’t even mentioned. And it will be fascinating to see how José uses the likes of Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Paddy McNair. There are certain to be some high profile departures this summer and we think that Daley Blind may be the first of the defenders to depart.

But watch this space.