Left midfield looks as though it’s going to be Manchester United’s problem position for a second season running with Shinji Kagawa the latest to fill that gap across the side’s midfield.
A position once made his own by Ryan Giggs, David Moyes has now used Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young in starting roles down the left of United’s side as he searches for the right player and right formula to take care of the position.
Young should be the player starting consistently in that position because he’s the best suited wide man out of those three to play that role.
The problem with Kagawa is that all of his natural instincts and urges cause him to push inside, to move centrally and try to get involved as an attacking force in the middle of the pitch.
His size also makes him vulnerable out wide and there were plenty of examples last night where he was getting bullied off the ball, unable to win back possession.
He does give United control through possession in that area but he relies heavily on Patrice Evra getting up alongside him to provide width. When that doesn’t happen, United don’t really pose a threat from that side of the pitch.
Welbeck has been extremely effective on the left side of midfield but he has made it clear he wants to play up front in a number ten or number nine, more central attacking position.
He’s throwing up some resemblances to Wayne Rooney and how he filled in last season across the midfield under Sir Alex Ferguson. He can do the job perfectly well but it’s clear he’s not entirely happy.
Moyes does have other options. Nani is obviously good enough to play down the left wing and he also has Wilfried Zaha chomping at the bit to try and get some first team football for the club. Even Rooney has played their in the past, but as seen with Kagawa - his effectiveness is limited, and Moyes likes him in the centre.
One of the reasons Moyes has to use players out of position down that side of the pitch is because of the inconsistency which has been shown by the club’s wingers, especially last season.
The good news is that Antonio Valencia looks far more comfortable and effective down the right so far this season than he did throughout the last campaign.
That limits the number of midfield headaches that Moyes has, meaning he’s only got to work out that left midfield position and who should play there as the number one in that position.
Who do you think United should use at left midfield?