Manchester United haven’t had a proper right-winger in their squad in recent years ever since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Nani. Antonio Valencia started off as a right winger but has played as a fullback for the better part of his career.
Since then, United have clearly lacked someone who provides that attacking edge on the right flank. Recently, the likes of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have filled that spot. However, both these players prefer playing centrally and do not naturally slot into that position.
Juan Mata was someone who used to play in the right flank last season but the pace that he has lost makes him a liability at times during high-intensity matches. Given the depth that most teams have in their attacking department, United certainly lag behind in that aspect.
Their attacking moves often become way too lopsided due to this and hence a bit predictable at times too. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has managed to change that drastically and there is a better balance in United’s offensive moves these days.
Diogo Dalot played as a right-winger in few games and impressed with his crossing abilities too. Whether that is a long term solution is something that remains to be seen. Here, we will look at three prospects United could pursue to solve their personnel issues on the right flank.
#3 Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe is someone who has generated quite a lot of attention in recent times with his potential and performances. Playing for Lille, he has scored 17 goals in 29 matches in the Ligue 1 this season. Pepe is strong, quick and a goal-scoring threat.
His passing acumen seems to be excellent as the lad delivers 1.9 key passes per game. Pepe is a good dribbler too, and is someone who can stretch the play with his pace and footwork. He cuts in with his favoured foot and can attempt some lethal long-range shots too whenever he senses an opportunity.
However, the fact that he has already scored 17 goals this season is a massive advantage for a team like United who should definitely try to acquire his services.
The likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have added an excellent goal-scoring threat to Manchester City’s attacking moves and United could do well with someone like Pepe manning that flank. He is tenacious, quick and young.
If the Red Devils manage to channelize his energy and talent in the correct way, we might see a really good player emerging in the Premiership. However, for that to happen, Ed Woodward would have to pull up his socks and get working with Lille on this particular transfer.