Despite Dalot absence, Ten Hag confident to win Aston Villa in Carabao Cup

November 10, 2022

Erik ten Hag is likely to turn to Tyrell Malacia in Diogo Dalot’s absence for the Fulham game.

Manchester United’s nine-game unbeaten streak came to an end on Sunday when Aston Villa surprisingly defeated United 3-1.

The poor performance was due in part to United’s grueling schedule over the past month, which included players playing Europa League Thursday night football in addition to weekend Premier League fixtures.

Erik ten Hag’s selection calls were also to blame with his decision to start Donny van de Beek in place of the suspended Bruno Fernandes receiving a lot of criticism.

Dalot’s absence will be felt

And the Dutch coach will have to reshuffle his squad yet again, as another of his “undroppables” will miss the final league game before the World Cup.

Diogo Dalot has started every game this season, but after receiving five cautions in the league, he will be forced to sit out the Fulham game.

Ten Hag, like the attacking midfielder position, lacks a readymade replacement. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the go-to right back.

His lack of ball skills and weakness when bombing forward do not sit well with the Dutch manager, who prefers a more proactive style of full-back who is comfortable with the ball at their feet.

The former Crystal Palace man was on the verge of being sold in the summer before the United hierarchy intervened at the last minute.

Rumours linking him to a return to Selhurst Park have resurfaced, and the feeling is that he will be let go this time because he is clearly not in the manager’s plans.

Another option is to place Victor Lindelof there. The Swede has tried it before, most recently against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, and it has never worked.

Malacia the deputy

The centre-back adds height and security, but he is too slow and ineffective when it comes to bombing forward to join the attack.

Ten Hag’s best option is to use left-back Tyrell Malacia in that position. He’s already played there twice this season and has the energy and football intelligence to handle it.

The Dutch defender is no stranger to positional changes, having been used as an auxiliary centre-back in a game by national team manager and former United manager Louis van Gaal.

The versatility of the former Feyenoord full-back has certainly aided United in more ways than one. When given the opportunity, he has performed admirably and forced Luke Shaw to improve his game.

Utilising Malacia from the right should only be viewed as a temporary solution and the club should go all in for a deputy in January.

Memphis Depay demanding free transfer in January amidst Man United interest

Manchester United has been placed on high alert as a result of Memphis Depay’s struggles for playing time at FC Barcelona.

According to El Mundo Deportivo in Spain, the Dutch forward wants a free transfer during the winter transfer window.

This comes as a result of Depay’s limited playing time this season, with the attacker appearing in just two La Liga games.