Manchester United must buy one of these in January as a priority

Rafael 2

Manchester United need to buy a right-back to cover Rafael da Silva effectively when he is out of action.

If you take a look at the big teams in the Premier League, most of them have cover for every position. That means two players for each position on the football pitch. Apart from Manchester United, and that is now beginning to become an obvious problem.

The most surprising fact for me about United’s transfer dealings this summer was not that they didn’t sign a big name midfielder, but that they did not sign another right-back.

At the moment the club has Rafael as their undisputed starting right-back, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling filling in when the Brazilian is out injured. They also have Antonio Valencia who fills in every now and again, while his little brother Fabio can also play in the position - so what am I talking about?

None of these players are good enough to play right-back for Manchester United.

Phil Jones often played there last season, but for all his gusto and huffing-puffing, once he enters the attacking third, he becomes a hindrance. One of the United’s greatest ever right-backs was Gary Neville, and he was effective both offensively and defensively - to be Premier League champions that is what they need.

The same can be said about Chris Smalling, and his gangly figure struggles with nippy wide-men - his inability to deal with Marko Arnautovic for 45 minutes yesterday is a testament.

Valencia does not have the defensive proficiency to play the role and Fabio is simply not good enough - Manchester United need another right back.

Arsenal have Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson; Manchester City have Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards; Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta - United have nothing in comparison.

The problem is, especially in a World Cup year, convincing a right back to come and play second fiddle to a starter.

There are plenty of talented players in the position all said to be available in January. Sebastien Corchia of Sochaux, Martin Montoya of Barcelona, Daryll Janmaat of Feyenoord - yet there is no sign of United making a move for a right-back at this moment in time.

A central midfielder, one who can do the things Paul Scholes and Roy Keane once did - grab a game by the scruff of its neck and carry United forward, is probably still their man need but first things first, get the house in order.

Full-backs are invariably cheap and easy to come by - so it should be the first port of call come January.

But something tells me it won’t be.

Do you think United need a new right back?

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