Manchester United may be forced to make yet another odd deal to address its winger shortage.

Jadon Sancho and Antony Sancho are both expected to miss some time, leaving Manchester United without a senior right winger.

When was the last time a year passed without Manchester United being obliged to recruit a temporary replacement to fill roster gaps? Consider Marcel Sabitzer, Wout Weghorst, Edinson Cavani, Odion Ighalo, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

This season, it has already occurred with the additions of Jonny Evans and Sergio Reguilon. United has relied on loans, free agents, and signings that no other elite team would consider for years to make up for their incompetence.

Problems occasionally cannot be anticipated or resolved. If two senior left-backs are injured at the same time and you have to sign a replacement, it is unfortunate. But the fact that this keeps happening to United exposes their inferiority to the clubs they’re trying to compete with.

Manchester City doesn’t appear to be scurrying to sign players on loans. Arsenal isn’t rummaging through the clearance section to see what they can find. Never out of desperation does Liverpool scrape the free-agent barrel. But United has been for years.

It’s unworthy of a team that aspires to be exceptional, and they’ll likely have to repeat it at some time in the coming months. Even if United didn’t do anything to change the situation, they are now without any senior right wingers despite investing more than £160 million in the position in recent years.

Erik ten Hag doesn’t know when Antony will return from his leave of absence after being accused of abusing three women in Brazil. After an altercation with the manager, Jadon Sancho has been permanently removed from the first-team roster and may never play for the club again.

Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri, two young and inexperienced players, are United’s only remaining options at right wing. Even one of those is hurt and unable to work.

Therefore, it is clear that United has to fill the position with reinforcements, but due to their tight budget, they will once again have to slog through the muck to find one. It’s very much impossible to rule anyone out given the crazy players United have signed and targeted – Ten Hag wanted Marko Arnautovic a year ago – and that’s where the fun starts.

When thinking about potential signings for United, it makes sense to start by reviewing all the players Ten Hag has previously worked with. Since taking over at Old Trafford, Ten Hag has signed 11 players on a permanent basis. Of these, four had already played for him, two had trained with him, and two more he knew from his time in the Netherlands. Weghorst is not even mentioned in that.

However, there aren’t many choices for wingers who might fall within United’s price range in January. After making transfers in the summer, obvious candidates Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech (targeted last year) are no longer on the table. That leaves half-plausible signings like David Neres, Quincy Promes of Spartak Moscow, and possibly Ryan Babel, who will be 37 at Christmas.

Even then, Neres’ Benfica contract runs through 2027, making him likely unachievable; negotiations with Russian clubs are tough to impossible because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine; and Babel, a former Liverpool player who is nearing the end of his career and has spent the last three years playing in Turkey.

The Bosman market still has a good number of recognizable names, but it doesn’t make for particularly interesting reading. Anwar El Ghazi’s representative gave the club the chance to sign him, but that was before Sancho’s chances of playing again were further diminished. The former Aston Villa player is still without a club, but at least he fits the description of an ex-Ajax player.

Along with fellow former England international Andros Townsend, former United player Jesse Lingard is also a free agent after been released by Nottingham Forest in the summer. Although Eden Hazard’s name is far more intriguing, his career appears to be coming to a tragic end, and he was better on the left anyway.








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