Manchester United have a busy transfer window ahead of them as the manager needs to improve on quite a few places in the squad before the start of the next season. A midfielder and a striker will be high up the wish list for Mourinho this summer but another position that needs some attention is the right-back position. Ecuador international Antonio Valencia is currently the first choice right-back for Jose Mourinho this season and the Portuguese was convinced earlier this season that he is the right fit for the club. However, at 31, he is not going to put in the hard yards for years to come, so is it time for Manchester United to start looking at young full-backs who can come good in years?
Matteo Darmian is the only other senior right-back in the squad and Mourinho has insisted on using him on the other flank even in cup games, giving the young Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Ashley Young chances in this position this season. It is clear that Mourinho does not have a right-back to go to at the moment. In a summer of transition, it might be time for them to spend on a right-back as well.
Valencia has made 34 appearances in all competitions, picking up 6 assists along with one goal to show for his efforts. He is one of the most consistent full-backs in the league and has been an influential player at the Old Trafford for a long time now. His energy on the field is second to none, while his defensive discipline bails his side out constantly. However, at his age, he is not going to play two games a week for the whole season and Manchester United will need a right-back who cannot only deputize for him but can also pick up the mantle in years to come.
It is clear that Mourinho rates him highly and he will not let him go anytime soon but the Red Devils need another player who can act as an understudy for a year or two and then cement his place in the first team. Fosu Mensah is defensive midfielder by trait while Ashley Young is no younger than Valencia. United do not have a player who can own the right-back spot at the club in the long term and there is a desperate, if not an urgent requirement of additions in this particular position.
Manchester United have constantly been linked with AS Monaco star Nelson Semedo and are yet to make a breakthrough in negotiations with the player. Everton’s Seamus Coleman has also been on the wish list while Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur did not skip United’s radar. Whoever it is, United need a player who is happy to work ‘with’ Valencia for at least a season or two before cementing their place in the side.
Do you think it is time for United to get on a search for such a defender?