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3 Right-Backs That Erik Ten Hag Could Sign At Manchester United This Summer

Harry Greenwood

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3 Right-Backs That Erik Ten Hag Could Sign At Manchester United This Summer

As Manchester United look to stimulate their summer business, it has become clear that the club are looking to add a new option at right back to the squad before the close of the window.

Reports from the Manchester Evening News' Samuel Luckhurst said that United are looking to add another right-back to their ranks, as well as a centre-back.

The club are expecting to receive offers for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has disappointed in the last year.

Here is a look at some of the potential options that United could pursue ahead of the 2022/23 season:

Tariq Lamptey

A stranger to no committed Premier League fan, Tariq Lamptey has burst onto the scene over the last two seasons, having moved to Brighton from Chelsea in the 2019/20 season.

The 21 year-old had an instant impact on Premier League audiences, with demonstrations of his pace and intensity both going forward and in recovery of possession.

While one goal and six assists across 51 appearances for Brighton doesn’t appear to show any great attacking prowess, these stats don’t represent the threat Lamptey offers in attack.

An awareness of Lamptey’s ability to get in behind whilst overlapping and create space for other players to play in to has resulted in extra attention towards Lamptey by opposition defences.

This would be greatly mitigated in a Manchester United side as the step up in level would provide Lamptey more opportunities to get away from the opposing defence, with the squad’s quality spread out across the team more so than at Brighton.

The right-back’s ability to play in a right-midfield and even right-wing role provides the England youth player with the tools required to flourish in an Erik ten Hag system.

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Lamptey’s renowned pace and explosiveness allows him to be devastating both overlapping and underlapping his teammates in front of him, allowing for quick counter attacks and fast transitions of play, with both crucial in ten Hag’s playstyle.

In addition to aiding his attack, Lamptey’s speed is essential for his defensive duties.

Under Ten Hag, the fullback would be expected to press intensely to turn the ball over, meaning his speed will be essential to pressure opponents and get himself back into position should the press fail.

It can be said with relative confidence therefore that Lamptey would be a fantastic signing to address the need for a right back should United secure him for the season ahead.

The fee however might prove to be the biggest problem if the club chose to pursue Lamptey.

As a young English player already in the Premier League, Lamptey will have a premium placed upon him by his current club, Brighton, making negotiations difficult and any potential fee huge.

In addition to this, Brighton are already likely to lose their current left-back, Marc Cucarella, to Manchester City, meaning there won’t be a need to sell on Brighton’s end.

Ultimately, if United wish to bring in an effective right-back for Erik ten Hag to work with, they will have to be prepared to pay a serious fee.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Gonzalo Montiel

Relatively unknown in England, Gonzalo Montiel plays his football for Sevilla in La Liga, having moved from River Plate before the start of the 2021/22 season.

The Argentine is very adept on the ball, with an ability to pick passes out from the back and unlock the opposition defences, allowing his teammates to get themselves in behind.

This ability allows for attacks to be built from the back, something United have struggled to implement over recent years.

As a 25 year-old, Montiel has the desired combination of experience and youth, with this combination being particularly important for a fullback due to the mobile nature of their role.

Having made four Champions League appearances with Sevilla last season, the fullback has some experience of European football, with this being crucial if United are to push for silverware in the Europa League in their first season under Erik ten Hag.

Montiel would suit a Ten Hag system to a reasonable extent, with his range of passing and vision key to a quick system that Ten Hag will look to integrate in Old Trafford.

A slight concern when considering Montiel is the Argentine’s history record, with a number of problems stifling his playing time over the 2021/22 season.

While the player has avoided any serious injuries such as leg breaks or ACL tears, a recurring thigh problem ruled the player out of eight games over the last season.

This would concern any potential suitors for Montiel but is likely a problem that can be addressed effectively during the season break by a strong team of physios.

It is on the more unlikely end of transfers as Montiel perhaps needs another season or two of European football under his belt before a move to one of Europe’s elite sides, but the ability and potential is there.

Any fee for Montiel would most likely be a decent amount lower than other potential options, with the deal for Tyrell Malacia for Feyenoord perhaps the best indication of how a deal for the player would most likely go.

This is a transfer which may suit Manchester United more in a year but could prove to be an astute one should John Murtough bring him to Old Trafford this year and take a slight gamble.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Denzel Dumfries

A fan favourite amongst speculators in the media, Dutch fullback, Denzel Dumfries, has been linked with Manchester United a number of times over the past two seasons and for good reason.

The Inter Milan right back has been a permanent fixture on the European stage for several seasons now, having developed in the PSV senior side, before joining Inter Milan off the back of a stellar Euro 2020 campaign with The Netherlands, ready for the 2021/22 season.

Demonstrating both an ability to move the ball forward but also to win the ball back, Dumfries has all the attributes you would desire from an elite level right-back.

His Dutch connection with Erik ten Hag and the meetings the pair will have had whilst both were player and manager in the Eredivisie could stand Manchester United in good stead to launch a solid pursuit of Dumfries, especially with Inter Milan having widely publicised financial issues over the last couple of years.

Five goals and seven assists across 45 appearances in Serie A demonstrates the Dutchman’s ability and offers evidence that the player would be able to handle the pressure of the Premier league, having featured in a top five European league and the Champions League.

In a manner similar to Tariq Lamptey, Dumfries has particular prowess going forward, with this an essential requirement of modern-day fullbacks.

This would be complimentary with a ten Hag system, meaning a move for Dumfries would be a sensible one.

Furthermore, Dumfries falls in line with United’s other targets over the window in terms of being either Dutch or having played an extensive amount in the Eredivisie, with Tyrell Malacia, Frenkie de Jong and Lisandro Martinez all falling into these categories.

The potential fee for Dumfries would likely be expensive, with the player only being 26 and having a host of experience under his belt.

This would probably be the best move for Manchester United at fullback however, given the Dutch links the club has pursued over this summer.

Coupled with the Dutch link, Dumfries’ age, ability, and play style would suit Manchester United the best, combined with the lack of English and Premier League premiums on top of the fee.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Any move for a high profile right-back will ultimately depend on Erik ten Hag’s assessment of Aaron Wan-Bissaka over pre-season, with the Dutchman already declaring a clean slate for last season’s players under his tenure.

It has to be said however, unless Wan-Bissaka’s performances reach another level during the 2022/23 season, right-back is likely a position which will require addressing in the coming years.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Manchester United Transfer News & Rumours, Transfers, Football, Brighton And Hove Albion, Premier League, Erik Ten Hag

Harry Greenwood
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