Manchester United are currently on an five-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League and that has propelled them to fifth place in the table, only three points behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.
Erik ten Hag‘s philosophy is starting to take shape and the recruits the club have brought in over the summer has played a huge role in United’s run.
The Dutch boss had a lot to do when given the role — from improving a leaky defence to hiring dominant midfielders and finally getting under-performing stars back to their best.
The defensive signings have proved to be a game-changer with Lisandro Martinez quickly becoming a fan-favourite while midfielders Casemiro and Christian Eriksen have become invaluable to the team’s style of play.
Benjamin Pavard did not expect to start on the bench in the last two games and is frustrated about it. The decision was not explained to him conclusively. Pavard is also unhappy because he doesn’t have a regular role as CB, which he had hoped for this season [@Plettigoal] pic.twitter.com/M5abydCgkN
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 30, 2022
Another problem position for the Red Devils is the right full-back slot. Diogo Dalot has firmly established himself as the undisputed starter, having started all games this campaign.
He has no viable alternatives with Ten Hag not the biggest fan of Aaron Wan-Bissaka who has played only four minutes this campaign.
“I have to mention, I think a club like Man Utd need two good full-backs because we have a lot of games to cover,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports while discussing the merits of Dalot.
And that has meant the 20-time English champions are actively looking for the right-profile for the right back slot. And if recent reports are to be believed, one of their former transfer targets could potentially come back into the picture.
Pavard in, AWB out?
Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard was actively considering a switch in the summer after the Bavarian giants landed Matthijs De Ligt.
But the Frenchman ended up staying but SPORT 1 are now reporting that the defender is showing ‘frustration’ at his current situation.
The 26-year-old has started 11 times in 17 games this campaign, playing the full match only eight times. And that has not gone down well with the player who feels he should be on the pitch more.
The new arrivals of De Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui have further complicated matters and “neither the club nor the player are very interested in extending” the player’s contract which runs until 2024.
And that could once again force the World Cup winner to “give serious thought” to leaving and United could be back in for him if Ten Hag sees him as the missing link in his squad. His versatility could be another major boon as Pavard can play in the centre of defence as well.
He is currently valued at €30million by Transfermarkt and if the player pushes for a move, he could be available for even cheaper. If the Reds can offload Wan-Bissaka for a healthy amount, a move for Pavard could be in the offing.