Man Utd handed ideal opportunity to solve left-back crisis

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 1 Mar 2024 22:39 GMT
  • 4 min read
Luke Shaw, Man Utd, 2023/24

Manchester United have added a new left-back to their summer transfer wish-list following the injury issues suffered by Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Shaw, 28, has missed over 75 games through injury since the start of the 2019-20 season and the England international is currently set for a lengthy absence on the sidelines that could extend into May.

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As for Malacia, he is yet to feature this season and Erik ten Hag has not offered much hope in regards to when the Dutchman may return. As a result, signing a new left-back has emerged as a transfer priority ahead of the new season.

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Left-back is going to be another position to keep an eye on at Manchester United," the transfer expert said on his Here We Go Podcast. "Because the injury to Luke Shaw, very negative season for Tyrell Malacia in terms of injury, very unlucky season for Tyrell Malacia, means that now Man Utd will look at [a] new left-back in the summer.

“They already considered the possibility for [Marc] Cucurella last summer before signing Reguilon. Now, they are assessing also different options - young, talented left-backs. And so I think Man Utd will be active on the market for a young left-back to bring something new in that position for the future.”

Milos Kerkez is reportedly admired, while Chelsea’s latest transfer decision may open the door for Man Utd to finally sign Cucurella, who was close to joining the Red Devils on loan last summer.

The Spaniard was in talks with Man Utd over a possible loan move, but Chelsea opted against letting him leave the club and Ten Hag’s side signed Sergio Reguilon instead. However, he returned to Tottenham Hotspur in January and is now on loan at Brentford.

READ MORE: Latest Man Utd transfer rumours

Despite their failure to land Cucurella last year, Man Utd may now be able to sign the former Brighton & Hove Albion star.

According to The Guardian, Chelsea are hoping to sell Cucurella this summer as they pursue a move for Gent youngster Archie Brown. Mauricio Pochettino is set to be on the hunt for a Ben Chilwell back-up this summer amid reports that Cucurella, Ian Maatsen and Lewis Hall will all depart on permanent deals.

If Chelsea do end up offloading Cucurella, it will present Man Utd with the perfect opportunity to sign him.

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2023

Marc Cucurella to Man Utd?

Although his opening 18 months at Stamford Bridge haven’t gone as planned, Cucurella remains a good defender and his form at Brighton was excellent.

The Spaniard is often overly-aggressive when defending and this leaves him exposed to runs in behind, but his front-footed style can also work wonders, as seen when he locked up Bukayo Saka earlier this season.

Although his current SciSkill rating is below Shaw’s, data analytics experts SciSports believe that Cucurella has the potential to exceed the England international. The Chelsea man has a potential SciSkill rating of 108.7, which is higher than Shaw’s 104.0.

He isn’t perfect, however Cucurella could be a shrewd acquisition by Man Utd if their left-back pursuit is a serious one this summer.

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