Why signing a right-back must be a priority for Manchester United this summer

Antonio Valencia

Manchester United are knocked out of the FA Cup after defensive errors cost them at home to Arsenal.

Danny Welbeck scored the winner as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-1 to knock them out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

Antonio Valencia’s stray back-pass handed Welbeck a golden opportunity, one-on-one with David De Gea, and the former United striker had no mercy in condemning his old club to a first home defeat to the Gunners since 2006.

It was the second error of the night from the Ecuadorian, after his poor positioning led to Nacho Monreal sneaking in at the back-post to give Arsenal the lead.

Wayne Rooney may have levelled for United but Valencia’s mistakes cost his side on the night.

It highlighted a key area which the Red Devils have been struggling in for some time. Valencia is an orthodox right midfielder, who was originally filling in at full back due to a severe lack of options for Louis van Gaal.

Rafael had been Sir Alex Ferguson’s staple right-back but injuries and poor form have seen him drop down the pecking order at United.

Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have filled in sporadically in the last few years but nobody has really been able to hold down the position since Gary Neville’s retirement.

Whilst finishing in the top four must be the priority for Van Gaal now, he must also look forward to the summer where recruitment is of the utmost importance and the right-back region is in desperate need of reinforcements.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch