Erik ten Hag has needed to adapt at Manchester United this season with injuries but two players have emerged as consistent starters.
However, there have been some positives to take from the campaign despite the visible difficulties.
After his debut campaign last term, Alejandro Garnacho has emerged as a consistent player in the starting lineup for United this season.
The Argentine has started 22 games so far this term, and that includes the last 13 Premier League fixtures in a row. He started just five league games last season altogether.
Garnacho has seven goals and two assists in 2023/24 so far but has found real joy since he recently moved across to the right wing. He has four goals in the five games he’s played there. The 19-year-old looks much more comfortable coming inside from the right and linking up with teammates.
Whilst Garnacho’s impact from the bench last season was electrifying, he almost always looked out of his depth when starting games. Now, he’s providing the team with a lot more from the off and seems to be offering a new solution on the right wing too.
Meanwhile, in defence, United have had just one mainstay with all of the injuries. Diogo Dalot has started 29 of his 31 appearances this season. Playing at both left-back and right-back, the Portuguese has been consistent in performances as well as availability.
Despite some issues defensively, such as the goal conceded against Wilfred Zaha, Dalot has offered an improvement in his all-round defensive skills and looks to be one of the few United players to be able to offer consistent buildup.
Now, with Kobbie Mainoo supporting in the midfield and Garnacho moving to the right, the Portuguese defender has been showing his importance in various areas of the game.
With United’s midfield often overcrowded this season, his inverting has helped and the energy he shows to move into spaces to receive is something needed across the pitch.
Whilst further improvements are always needed, Dalot’s performances this season have regularly gone under the radar, somewhat understandably because of the struggles in the team.
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