Crisis club Manchester United have been lurching from disaster to disaster this season and manager Erik ten Hag now has a fresh selection crisis on the right wing to add to his lengthening list of woes.
With Mason Greenwood loaned out to Getafe, Brazilian international Antony taking a leave of absence to tackle his own issues with the law and Jadon Sancho’s public social media spat shortening ten Hag’s catalogue options for the right flank, United are suddenly looking very light in that position.
This morning however, several outlets published reports linking the Red Devils with a shock move for free agent Anwar El Ghazi, with the Dutch winger pushed forward as a possible short-term solution to United’s issues.
Anwar El Ghazi to Man Utd – could it happen?
28-year-old Anwar El Ghazi, who has been out of contract since the end of last season following the end of his deal with PSV, would be able to join United after the transfer deadline due to his status as a free agent.
The wide attacker, who spent four seasons in the Premier League with Aston Villa and Everton before returning to his homeland last year, hit nine goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for PSV in 2022/23 before he left the Eredivisie giants in the summer.
Reports in the Mirror and the Telegraph suggested that United were considering a shock swoop for El Ghazi after the player’s agent had contacted the club about a possible move, however, fresher updates have now emerged to pour cold water on any prospective arrangement.
According to reliable Athletic journalist, Laurie Whitwell, United have already passed on the possibility of bringing El Ghazi to Old Trafford, stating that they are comfortable with the options they already have for that position.
The news is certain to be greeted with relief by United’s fanbase, who were unanimously against the idea of signing El Ghazi when discussing the idea online.
#MUFC not interested in Anwar El Ghazi, after proposal by agents. Right-wing options affected by Antony’s withdrawal + Sancho’s situation, but Pellistri was kept with a view to featuring, plus Garnacho could play there. Fernandes/Mount too, if necessary.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) September 12, 2023
Who could replace Antony on the right wing?
With first-choice right winger Antony set for an extended spell on the sidelines, United will look to their current personnel for options to replace the 23-year-old.
In Uruguayan international Facundo Pellistri, United have a youngster who has been itching for a chance to stake a claim in Erik ten Hag’s XI. The 21-year-old has been with the Mancunian since 2020, though he has been farmed out on loan to Alaves in each of the last two seasons.
Pellistri has amassed 13 caps for his country and he has been a regular starter for Uruguay under Marcelo Bielsa.
Talented Ivorian Amad Diallo, who was a nominee for the Championship’s Young Player of the Year and won Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year award for 2022/23, is also a natural right winger with potential in United’s ranks.
Amad is currently sidelined with a knee issue, however his haul of 14 goals and three assists in the second tier last season would suggest that he is ready to step up to the Premier League when he returns to full fitness.
United skipper Bruno Fernandes has also filled in on the right wing on occasion, however, the Portuguese maestro is far more effective when deployed centrally. Summer signing Mason Mount is also versatile enough to operate out wide on the right.