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It is as clear as day to appreciate the hard task that Erik Ten Hag has when walking in at Old Trafford from this summer and beyond.
Present at the last game of the season away at Crystal Palace, in which they lost 1-0, the Dutch coach saw first hand a squad depleted on confidence and a harmony that quite clearly is missing on and off the pitch.
There are a number of players leaving as a free agent this summer – Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata to name three – plus others that are likely to be shown the door, which is why it is so important for Ten Hag to hit the ground running with reinforcements.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been told that if a suitable offer comes in, whether that’s permanently or on loan, he will be given the green light to go, which means the Red Devils will be actively in the market now to find a suitable replacement.
Here are three right backs that Manchester United should be pursuing:
Club: VfL Wolfsburg
While some might not have heard of Ridle Baku, he has been on the radar of many elite teams from Europe on the back of impressive seasons at both Mainz and Wolfsburg.
The 24 year old can play anywhere down the right hand side, which would give Ten Hag flexibility in trying out different systems, but Baku is predominantly a right full back.
Six goals and six assists last season for Baku shows he is a threat in the final third, which is what the Red Devils are currently missing from Wan-Bissaka. The German international is likely to cost in the region of £25-30 million with three years’ left on his current deal.
Club: Brighton & Hove Albion
Manchester United have been monitoring Tariq Lamptey’s progress for several years now, even before he made the move from Chelsea to Brighton in 2020.
A regular England youth international among all age groups, Lamptey has gone from strength to strength in his fledgling career so far – and made waves when leaving the comfort of Chelsea behind in search of regular first team football.
While physically not impressive in terms of height, only 1.63m tall, Lamptey is one of the quickest footballers in the Premier
Lamptey is likely to be an expensive purchase, north of £40 million, which would be turnover a very healthy profit should Brighton decide to cash in after an initial cost of £5 million.
Club: Middlesbrough (on-loan at Nottingham Forest)
Djed Spence has arguably been the breakthrough player of the year in England’s professional game this season.
Currently playing for Nottingham Forest on-loan from Sunderland, Spence has excelled this campaign, racking up 49 appearances so far with one more to come in the Championship play-off final.
Spence’s athleticisim is what makes him stand out, with his ability to easily glide past oncoming players and create channels for others around him to exploit. While only 21, the England youth international players with a maturity beyond his years and will continue to improve year on year.
Tottenham and Arsenal have also already expressed an interest in Spence, but a lot is likely to depend on if Forest are promoted and whether he would prefer to stay with them in the Premier League.
Middlesbrough know whichever way it falls on Sunday afternoon, there are going to be clubs circling ready to prize the hotshot away.