Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, may soon demonstrate how much he believes in Alejandro Garnacho.

Given Antony’s absence from the team, Man Utd is left with a void on the right wing, and no obvious contender is available to fill it.

Since 2020, Manchester United has spent more than £200 million on right-wingers, but only the 21-year-old with one game under his belt is expected to be available to start against Brighton this weekend.

Even so, Facundo Pellistri is more likely to serve as a backup than a starter against the Seagulls despite the likelihood that Antony, Jadon Sancho, and Amad will not be present. Instead, Erik ten Hag is more likely to select an assault that consists of two forwards who prefer to play on the left, or three if Anthony Martial stays at centre-forward, who also enjoy playing in that position.

Amad’s injury is currently denying him of the opportunity to stake a claim, since Antony has been granted a leave of absence in order to defend himself against assault claims in Brazil, and Sancho is unlikely to find a clear way back into the team after his startling social media criticism of Ten Hag last weekend.

with both of them clearly preferring to play on the left, marcus rashford and alejandro garnacho are left as the likely wingers against brighton. one of them will be needed for the substitute appearance on the right.

Ten Hag will have to make a difficult choice. Rashford has recently played better on the left after two starts through the middle, providing two assists and a goal against Nottingham Forest and Arsenal.

But unlike Garnacho, he has expertise working on the right. Rashford has played 42 games for United as a right winger, scoring 11 goals and setting up seven more, according to Transfermarkt statistics. As a substitute in the 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford one year ago, Garnacho made one appearance there.

Ten Hag must decide whether he needs the assurance of Rashford’s performance on the left and is willing to put Garnacho in an unfamiliar situation, or whether he can put his faith in the youngster to duplicate Rashford’s impact. The manner in which he finished off his last-second opportunity against Arsenal, which turned out to be offside, supports the latter.

Rashford has had his moments on the right, even if he can’t cut in and offer the same type of goal danger he displayed at the Emirates in that position. However, if he misfires there, it might backfire.

Although it would require Aaron Wan-Bissaka to maintain his width rather than moving in centrally, the 25-year-old scored a few goals for England from the right flank at the World Cup last year, operating in a narrower position on that flank to get into shooting territory.

Rashford did score twice for United last season from the right of the front three, once in the 2-2 draw with Leeds at Old Trafford in February and once against Burnley in the Carabao Cup. It was an uncommon occurrence for Garnacho and Rashford to start as wingers on the same side in that match, with the Argentine on the left and the Englishman on the right.

Given the uncertainty surrounding Antony and Sancho, if that is how it plays out against Brighton and potentially for the upcoming weeks, it will be interesting to see how it looks. After all, there is still a sense that they will eventually need to be included in the same team.

 

 

 

 

 

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