Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

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Sergio Reguilon transfer gives four Man United players a problem

4 min read

Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself that is too good to refuse.

It happens in general life, but more specifically, it can happen in the mad world of the football transfer market.

Because although many officials at Premier League clubs openly admit they resent the summer — with Tottenham Hotspur chief scout Steve Hitchen confessing in the new Amazon Prime documentary “I hate it”, speaking about the transfer window — it’s not simply a stream of bad news and headaches.

Manchester United have found the summer difficult, of that there can be little debate, though their frustrations largely centre around the Jadon Sancho saga and the difficulties of negotiating with Borussia Dortmund and a number of intermediaries.

But while Sancho has represented an itch that United cannot scratch, despite a recent breakthrough of sorts, Sergio Reguilon might be the complete opposite; a ‘bolter’ who United could sign without much effort whatsoever, and without a bank-breaking transfer fee.

The suggestion is that the Real Madrid left-back, who impressed against United in the Europa League semi-final while on loan at Sevilla, will be available for around £25million should an offer be forthcoming.

The situation is intriguing for many reasons, not least the fact that United shelved plans to sign a left-back midway through last season following the emergence of Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw’s return to form. But they want another two or three signings after Donny van de Beek this summer and a left-back could now be among them. That could create issues for Shaw and Williams.

But when both players were injured towards the end of the campaign, Timothy Fosu-Mensah was forced to step in as an emergency left-back. United are still down one player in the position following Ashley Young’s January exit to Inter Milan. And Williams, as a right-footer, may be more natural on the other side.

It is clear Reguilon would improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. Some may question why Madrid want to offload the player, but they paid around £50million for an elite left-back in Ferland Mendy 12 months ago and still have the wily Marcelo, 32, in reserve.

Reguilon is 23 and has just received his first call-up into the Spanish national setup. Again, it has been suggested he would be open to the idea of an Old Trafford move, even if the competition would appear to be stiff. He wants to test himself, he wants to play.

There is no doubt Reguilon’s prospective transfer would create an issue for the likes of Shaw and Williams, particularly the former, who appeared to be approaching his best United form last season before injury struck again.

Shaw is expected to be fit for the start of the new season, but will he remain Solskjaer’s first choice left-back by the time that Crystal Palace game on September 19th rolls round?

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Williams’ challenge may be different. It would be no bad thing if he becomes a more versatile player who can cover both full-back sides, despite having played the majority of his football in the United first team on the left, after capitalising on Young’s departure midway through last season. Yet if he switches sides he could face the same problem that has plagued Diogo Dalot in the past season — trying to win Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s spot at right-back.

Dalot, ultimately, may be the fall guy if a Reguilon deal gets done.

The Portuguese youngster offered promise in his debut season under both Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho, but injuries and an apparent lack of faith in his talents from the Norwegian have shifted Dalot down the ratings.

Williams could become the back-up for Wan-Bissaka, with Shaw and Reguilon slugging it out for the spot on the other side. Fosu-Mensah, despite his bright displays when called back into the cold by Solskjaer, may look for opportunities away from Old Trafford.

Few expected to witness a changing of the guard in the United full-back positions this summer, but Solskjaer and his men can ill afford to look a gift horse in the mouth.

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