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Manchester United 'prioritising left-back signing this summer'

Man Utd 'prioritising left-back signing this summer'
© Reuters
Manchester United have reportedly identified signing a new left-back as their main priority in the summer due to the injury woes of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Manchester United have reportedly identified signing a new left-back as their main priority for the upcoming summer transfer window.

Erik ten Hag has been short of options in the left-back slot for the majority of the season due to the injury woes of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Shaw has featured in just 12 Premier League matches this season, whereas Malacia has yet to make an appearance this term and is unlikely to return to the squad before the end of the current campaign.

Malacia participated in a competitive fixture for the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League on June 14 last year, but a month later, at the start of pre-season, he was forced to undergo surgery.

The Dutchman sustained the knee injury last season, and initially, United's medical staff attempted to manage it with pain injections. However, as the situation progressed, surgery became necessary, ultimately leading to a period of rehabilitation.

Tyrell Malacia in action for Manchester United on August 7, 2022© Reuters

Man Utd to prioritise new left-back signing in the summer

As reported by Manchester Evening News, the persistent absence of a recognised left-back this season has prompted United's executives, now operating under Ineos following their acquisition of a minority share in the club, to prioritise the signing of a left full-back in the upcoming transfer market.

The report adds that Sergio Reguilon, who was brought in to fill that gap, saw his loan terminated prematurely in the January transfer window as the Red Devils expected Malacia and/or Shaw to be available for the latter part of the campaign.

However, that plan has not unfolded as expected due to ongoing issues with their fitness.

In addition Lisandro Martinez's absence means that Ten Hag's side are currently without a naturally left-footed defender, which has significantly affected them on the left flank, both defensively and in attack.

Shaw will reach his 10-year anniversary with the Red Devils this summer, but his decade in Manchester has been marred by persistent injury setbacks, which has somewhat understandably created doubt about his future at the club.

Manchester United's Luke Shaw walks off the pitch to be substituted due to injury on February 18, 2024© Reuters

United need major reinforcements ahead of the 2024-25 season

Aside from the left-back role, there are several other areas that United will likely need to strengthen in the summer.

With the likes of Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof being linked with moves away from Old Trafford, bringing in a new centre-back will also become necessary.

Casemiro, Antony, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho's futures also remain up in the air, suggesting the need for reinforcements further upfield as well.

United have been in poor form recently, managing just one win from their last seven league games, leaving them in seventh place in the Premier League standings, 10 points behind fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur.

They will return to action On Sunday afternoon when they make the trip to Wembley Stadium to face Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-finals.

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