Rangnick has the answer to £50 million Manchester United transfer question
Manchester United have confirmed that Ralf Rangnick has agreed to become interim manager until the end of the season.
The German joins on an initial six-month contract before taking up a two-year consultancy role, which will see him influence football operations at the club.
United supporters are hugely excited about what Rangnick can do to take the club to a new level. Of course, there has been a progression from the club over the last few years, but this season, they’ve gone two steps backwards and need a boost in confidence.
During United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, there were definite positives from what we’ve seen over the last couple of months. It felt like there was more urgency from the team to press and win the ball back, plus they defended well against a side who are top of the Premier League.
However, there are still some significant issues that need addressing.
For starters, when you think about the amount of money United have spent over the last few seasons under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, you’d expect to see a team who look capable of challenging for trophies. However, even though it was a draw against the two teams, there was an evident gulf in class, and Chelsea probably came away from that match wondering how they didn’t pick up all three points.
Chelsea were superior on the pitch through their full-backs – Reece James and Marcos Alonso. Both were such a threat going forward, and as we’ve seen from Thomas Tuchel’s team this season, a lot of their offensive creativity has come from the wide positions. James has got five goals and five assists in 15 matches, and before Ben Chilwell got injured, he had three goals and one assist in 12 games.
Chelsea’s full-backs are much more of an attacking threat than United’s, and there’s one player who Rangnick might have a problem with if he wants to implement more offensive opportunities from his defenders.
That person is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
I’m going to be honest and say that I think Wan-Bissaka has been a good signing for United because defensively, I don’t think there’s a better right-back in 1v1 situations. However, this season has brought out many flaws to his game.
I didn’t notice it at first because he was performing well, but since the emergence of Reece James, plus the ongoing brilliance of Trent Alexander-Arnold, it’s hard not to see where Wan-Bissaka lacks. Sure, he might be defensively better than both of them, but this is 2021, Premier League full-backs need to be good going forward too!
Against Chelsea, I didn’t see him make any overlapping runs for Jadon Sancho, which he needs to get the best out of him! Remember his relationship at Dortmund with Achraf Hakimi? Having another option down either channel will always cause more problems for an opposition defender, yet Wan-Bissaka hasn’t offered that this season.
He also gave away a penalty after a clumsy challenge on the experienced Thiago Silva – which just about summed up his season to this point.
It’s a massive problem for Rangnick to solve because he cost £50million in 2019, so to sell him off would be another indication of where United had gone wrong – mainly as they spoke about scouting 804 right-backs; before they signed him!
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Should Rangnick be unable to get a tune out of Wan-Bissaka and his offensive duties, he might think it’s time for United to get another right-back. This isn’t me trying to be reactionary, far from it, but when you compare the 24-year-old to James of Chelsea, Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool and Kyle Walker of Manchester City, it feels like they offer more going forward.
It’ll be interesting to see what Rangnick does, but either way, he has to improve the attacking aspects of Wan-Bissaka’s game.
Can Rangnick improve Wan-Bissaka? Follow our United On My Mind writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.
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