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Manchester United: Solving the left-back problem

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Pervis Estupiñán
Pervis Estupiñán. Photo/ Metro UK
  • Manchester United will look to add a left-back during the summer transfer window due to injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.
  • We’ve examined world class left-backs that United may want to sign.

Manchester United will look to add a left-back during the summer transfer window due to injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Shaw, 28, has battled injuries throughout the season and is doubtful for England’s Euro 2024 campaign this summer due to a recent muscle ailment that will keep him out of much of the Premier League’s final stretch.

More complex is Malacia’s extended absence—the Dutchman hasn’t played since losing to Fulham on the last day of the 2022–2023 season.

We’ve examined world class left-backs that United may want to sign.

Miguel Gutierrez

Miguel Gutierrez

Miguel Gutierrez Photo/ Football Espana

Girona’s overachieving team is expected to draw a lot of attention in the summer since Savio has already committed to joining Manchester City at the end of the current season.

With Girona soaring high in third place and on track to qualify for the Champions League, Artem Dovbyk, Aleix Garcia, and Yangel Herrera might all draw offers. Miguel Gutierrez has become another treasure for Girona.

In pursuit of a more prominent position, the left-back departed Real Madrid and joined the fascinating group of young players emerging in Catalonia. He is fourth in the league for passes into the penalty area and seventh in terms of predicted assists, making him one of La Liga’s finest creators this season.

The 22-year-old has apparently caught the attention of Manchester United and Arsenal with his performances, which have included switching to a wide position and inverting into midfield. It wouldn’t be shocking if Real Madrid used the buy-back option they had inserted, which allowed them to re-sign Gutierrez for a mere €8 million.

Luca Netz

Manchester United is anticipated to adopt a younger recruitment strategy, focusing on a core group of elite players that includes Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, and Rasmus Hojlund.

Luca Netz, who has made a name for himself at Borussia Monchengladbach, may be the perfect choice to back up and eventually replace Luke Shaw in the team. Having joined the team as a youth from Hertha Berlin, the 20-year-old has amassed 75 senior matches and 14 caps for the German under-21 team.

In compared to full-backs around Europe, Netz performs well on a number of criteria despite his inexperience. In terms of clearances per ninety minutes (3.34), he is in the top five percentile of his positional peers. He also scores strongly in terms of assists and aerials won per match.

Antonee Robinson

Antonee Robinson

Antonee Robinson. Photo/ Goal

Premier League competitors have taken notice of USA international Antonee Robison due to his impressive play for Fulham. This season, Robison has been a force to be reckoned with at Craven Cottage.

In addition to ranking among the best players in the Premier League for tackles won (5th), crossings into the box (2nd), and dribblers tackled (3rd), Robinson leads the top five leagues in Europe with 69 interceptions.

The 26-year-old has demonstrated increased talent in the last third of the season and possesses all the physical qualities needed for a contemporary full-back, including speed and an unending engine. In the Premier League, he is tied with Kieran Trippier of Newcastle with six assists during open play, with just Vladimir Coufal of West Ham behind him among defenders.

David Raum

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David Raum of team Germany. Photo by TSG Hoffenheim

A seasoned German international who is getting close to his best seasons yet?

The 25-year-old has been an excellent offensive option from full-back in recent seasons, making an impression with 11 league assists upon Hoffenheim’s return to the top division in 2021/22.

That summer, he paid €30 million to join RB Leipzig. He had a difficult first season there, but he has since recovered. In all competitions thus far this season, Raum leads Europe’s top five leagues in crosses into the penalty area and has three goals and twelve assists.

Pervis Estupinan

Pervis Estupinan, who has drawn attention since joining Brighton from Villarreal, would be a Premier League-tested alternative for Manchester United.

The Ecuadorian international filled the vacuum left by Marc Cucurella’s departure with remarkable performance, dishing out five assists in his first season of English football.

The 26-year-old has struggled with fitness this time around, but when fit, he has been a potent attacking threat. Estupinan, who has made 12 league starts for the Seagulls this season, has contributed two goals and three assists, or one goal every 211 minutes.

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