Home ยป Erik ten Hag still needs to decide about his starting right-back after Diogo Dalot error

Erik ten Hag still needs to decide about his starting right-back after Diogo Dalot error

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United returned to winning ways in pre-season with a commanding 3-1 win against French side RC Lens at Old Trafford on Saturday.

It was the away side who took the lead in the first-half after Florian Sotoca pounced on an error from Diogo Dalot and chipped goalkeeper Andre Onana.

In the second-half, manager Erik ten Hag’s strong words did elicit a response as Marcus Rashford, Antony and Casemiro all got on the score-sheet to ensure victory.

Dalot mistake

United will face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and based on current evidence, almost all starting places are under lock except for at right full-back.

Ten Hag had picked his strongest side against the Ligue 1 runners-up but he might now be looking at the Bilbao game before taking a final call.

In the previous friendly against Borussia Dortmund, the Portuguese full-back had scored a stunner while second-half substitute Aaron Wan-Bissaka had given the ball away for the German side to score the winner.

Prior to that, it was the former Crystal Palace defender who was favourite to be in the starting line-up for the Premier League opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

That mistake might have forced the manager to include Dalot in his starting line-up on Saturday but it was his error that allowed the visitors to take the lead.

AWB or Dalot for Wolves?

The Portuguese looks sharper while going forward and is more comfortable underlapping but is prone to defensive lapses and misplaced passes in dangerous areas.

In an ideal scenario, the United boss would have preferred bringing in another full-back but due to a paucity of funds and the need to strengthen other areas first, the position has been left unattended.

Both full-backs are not good enough for a club of United’s stature when compared to the options at their rivals’ disposal but for now, the current situation is likely to continue.

Both full-backs have their share of positives and negatives and Ten Hag is expected to use a horses-for-courses policy during the course of the upcoming season.

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