Manchester United scouted 804 right-backs before settling on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. It is a statement often used to criticize the scouting process, which has plagued them for many years and resulted in them signing a right-back who has not gone well into a possession system.
The problem is that United scouts have mainly focused on the most obvious signings, as Wan-Bissaka was highly rated in the Premier League for Crystal Palace. And they also sign players without any clear plan in mind; Ole Gunnar Solskjær initially played a counter-attacking system, but as they sought to improve and challenge for trophies, the team moved to a more ball possession-based system, and the right-back had a hard time.
United have now confirmed that Erik ten Hag will be the club’s next permanent manager and with his appointment a new project is underway. And now fans are starting to ask which players will survive, with Wan-Bissaka near the top of the list.
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But he may have a lifeline. Athletic have reported that Crystal Palace are interested in bringing Wan-Bissaka back to his former club in the summer, where a temporary deal is preferred over a permanent switch.
United would probably prefer Wan-Bissaka to leave on a permanent deal, as the Manchester Evening News has previously reported that they are interested in picking up another right-back this summer and have a surplus of players on the full-back. Securing a fee would also help United fund their rebuilding under Ten Hag.
But when looking for the right-back’s replacement, United must learn from their past mistakes. First, the price tag, Wan-Bissaka was bought for around £ 50 million and that means there was a huge risk involved if it did not succeed, which it unfortunately does not have.
The second is that every player that the club signs must have the potential to grow with the team and be a useful part of the squad for years to come.
Djed Spence from Middlebrough would be an interesting £ 15million option, and some reports have linked United to a move to Tariq Lamptey, though he would likely cost much more. Overall, the club’s transfer strategy needs to be very smart and focus on looking for diamonds in the rough in order for Ten Hag to mold into part of its project.
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