Four free agent right-backs Manchester United could consider to help injury crisis
What a total nightmare. Manchester United are down to two fit full-backs with Aaron Wan-Bissaka joining Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the injured list.
It feels like a farce at this point. What is going on at Carrington behind the scenes? Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the latest player to go down with an injury, facing several weeks out of action.
It leaves Diogo Dalot as the only fit right-back. Emergency loanee Sergio Reguilon is the only left-back.
One thing United could do is explore the free agent market. The problem is, there are extremely slim pickings.
We have taken a look at some of the options, which admittedly get worse and worse as you go down the list…
READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loans, releases, youth for 2023/24
French defender Kevin Malcuit (above) has played for Monaco, Fiorentina and Lille. His most recent stint came in Turkey with Ankaragucu, where he played 24 times last season.
He was linked with a move to Arsenal in 2019, The Express reported. Now 32, he finds himself without a club.
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Moritz Bauer had a spell on loan at Celtic before losing his place to an emerging Jeremie Frimpong. He spent three seasons with Stoke City.
The Austria international is a free agent after a spell with Swiss club Servette last season, and has had two stints playing in Russia.
Want a player with Premier League experience? Former Aston Villa right-back Matthew Lowton is a free agent after being released by Burnley in the summer.
Lowton, 34, has more than 200 top flight games under his belt. He recently spent time training with Birmingham City.
None of those three seem good enough? Fair. At this point, Manchester United might as well bring back Phil Jones, who can and has played at right-back.
Jones has been seen at Carrington over the past fortnight, where he is working with the under-18s as he considers a plan to get into coaching.
A first team return seems out of the question, right? Well, so did a move for Jonny Evans. Is a Jones return really more improbable?
Don’t dismiss the possibility of United being desperate enough to field a backline of Reguilon, Maguire, Evans and Jones.
What will United do at right-back
Really, we expect Erik ten Hag to muddle through with the very few options he has, and look at moving players out of position to cover. It is hard to recall an injury crisis quite as bad as this in recent seasons.
Selling off and loaning out youngsters who could provide cover has exacerbated the lack of defensive depth.
Hopefully we are not quite desperate enough to have to explore the free agent market just yet. But it feels like United are pretty close.