Given the persistent lack of right wing options for Man Utd, Erik ten Hag may need to be inventive in his selections.
In the past three years, Manchester United has spent £205 million on right wingers. When they play Brighton this weekend, they might find it difficult to fill the position.
Since Antony is presently out of the lineup and Jadon Sancho publicly disagreed with the manager, Erik ten Hag will have some difficulty making selections just five games into the new season.
When the manager delivers his most recent press conference on Friday, we might learn more about who could play on the right side of the attack because Ten Hag seems to have three potential options.
The most implausible possibility might also be the most fascinating. One of the four right wingers signed in recent years is Facundo Pellistri, but he has only started one competitive game in that period.
He would be the most logical choice for the forward line and bring the best balance with his directness and delivery, but given how undeveloped a talent he is still, it would also be a bit of a risk.
Given that he has contributed to nearly every one of his 12 senior outings, Pellistri would be deserving of a chance, but the obvious catch is that the majority of them have come from the bench rather than the starting lineup.
When United was almost likely to advance to the next round of the Europa League and would face Brighton at home, it was practically a dead-rubber against Real Betis in the only game he started.
Nevertheless, this player is 21 years old, a full international for Uruguay, and has participated in a World Cup. He is old enough and competent enough to be given an opportunity this weekend.
The most likely course of action, as we saw throughout last season, still seems to be to use an aggressive midfielder there. Bruno Fernandes made a lot of wide man appearances, but many of them took place in games where they wanted to play more defensively.
In games against superior opponents when a midfield rethink is also necessary, it makes some sense to play either Fernandes or Mason Mount on the right, but at home against most teams United will be expected to attack instead.
The team should be formed around Fernandes since he is United’s best creative outlet rather than using him to fill in holes, even if he is capable of doing so.
The better choice would be to start a player like Pellistri against Brighton this weekend, then to switch to Fernandes or Mount in the wide position for the trip to Bayern Munich the following week.
If Mount is healthy and available this weekend, there may be a temptation to start him there in order to better prepare him for the trip to Germany. Mount may perform at his best on the wing given his work rate and ability to win back the ball for United.
The alternative for United would be to temporarily switch a left-sided attacker to a right-sided position, but that doesn’t make much sense given that all of them utilize an inverted strategy that emphasizes cutting inside to their better foot.
Alejandro Garnacho would be an option because Marcus Rashford is unlikely to start games elsewhere and does not need to be sacrificed to fill a vacancy elsewhere.
The Argentinean kid is a superb dribbler with a keen eye for goal and could find some success on the right, but he has frequently played his best football as a substitute, so once again, switching wings doesn’t really make much sense.
While Ten Hag has a few options accessible to him while he looks for a temporary remedy, the case for Pellistri is hardly any stronger given that there is only one natural possibility.