Right-wing is a position that is fairly weak for Manchester United at the moment. Jadon Sancho was brought in last summer to fill that gap but ended up playing a lot on the left last season.
In pre-season Sancho has been deployed on the right, but United are looking to get back into the Champions League and in a season where the World Cup is mid-season, the squad needs additional quality and depth.
United’s backup options on the right include Anthony Elanga, Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri, and while Elanga impressed earlier this year, United need proven quality in attack and relying on youth can be a risk in a league as competitive as the Premier League.
If the Red Devils hope to be competitive next season, they will need more depth in this area.
New manager Erik ten Hag has been desperately working to seal a reunion with Brazilian winger Antony. However, a deal with Ajax is yet to be struck.
Should they fail to reach an agreement, Man Utd will have to look elsewhere. Here are five alternatives that they could target this summer.
If they’re looking for someone who is proven in the Premier League, Jarrod Bowen could be the right man. The 25-year-old has just enjoyed a fine season with West Ham United, scoring 18 and assisting 11 in all competitions.
His performances earned him his first caps for the England national team last month. With the World Cup beginning in just a few months, and competition on the wings high in the Three Lions camp, Bowen will be eager to impress early on to secure his spot on the plane.
The main issue for this deal would be his price tag. West Ham would demand a huge fee for one of their star men, especially if they were to sell him to a rival. He would likely cost just as much as Antony, if not more.
In recent years, Domenico Berardi has risen to prominence as one of Serie A’s finest wingers. In the last three seasons, he has registered 46 goals and 31 assists in the league. Last term, only Thomas Muller and Kylian Mbappe assisted more goals in Europe’s top five leagues. Meanwhile, he was also a starter in the Italy side that won Euro 2020 last summer.
Despite this, the Sassuolo man hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play at a higher level, making just four appearances in Europe throughout his career. Maybe it’s time he took the next step.
He’s a player that plenty of top clubs would be happy to have. At 27 years of age, he is in his prime, and his numbers speak for themselves.
When Ismaila Sarr suffered relegation with Watford back in 2020, many expected him to move on. But he stayed with the Hornets and helped fire them back to the top-flight. Two years on, the Senegal international finds himself in the same position, and it’s difficult to see him taking another year in the Championship.
Despite the two relegations, Sarr has often been a shining light for Watford. Furthermore, he has achieved success on the international stage – he made three appearances for Senegal during their triumphant Africa Cup of Nations campaign, scoring once and starting in the final.
His displays have seen him linked with a transfer to Liverpool and West Ham. Man Utd could do far worse than bringing him in.
You know exactly what you’re gonna get from Adama Traore. He’s one of the quickest players on the planet, an excellent dribbler, and almost unstoppable when in full flight. However, his end product lets him down more often than not.
Nonetheless, he’s a handful. He alone can take several players out of the game, opening up space for his teammates. This space is something that a number of Utd’s forwards could thrive off.
Traore is a frustrating player, and the fans would find themselves cursing his final ball most of the time. However, he could also be a useful option.
When Utd failed to finalise the deal for Jadon Sancho in 2020, they brought in Edinson Cavani on a free transfer as a short-term stop-gap. This could be their best option this time around.
After nine incredible years at Napoli, Dries Mertens is now a free agent. He leaves the Neapolitans as their all-time top goalscorer with 148 finishes in 397 outings.
The Belgian would not only be an option on the right, but he is also capable of playing through the middle. Given the uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, a new striker may also be necessary. With Mertens, they could kill two birds with one stone.
Mertens still has the pace and finishing ability to be a threat at the top level, and he could be an excellent short-term signing for United.