Kieran Trippier's ability on the wing cannot be ignored in reported Manchester United chase

Kieran Trippier is not a player many Manchester United fans would have been hoping for this summer.

However, according to the Manchester Evening News, the England star is firmly on United’s radar. And the rumour may not be as daft as some believe.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been one of United’s most consistent players in recent years. The 23-year-old has 100 appearances in just two campaigns. And he will be one of the first names on the team sheet again next season.

But Trippier would arrive as far more than just back-up to Wan-Bissaka. He could operate further forward, playing with the young right-back rather than instead of him.

Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Alternative right wing option?

United need more quality out wide – most notably on the right. That is the reason Jadon Sancho is so regularly linked with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. The young winger would slot seamlessly and effectively into the Norwegian’s team.

That said, Sancho remains an expensive target. Even more so during a global pandemic when United have played the majority of the campaign without fans.

So could Trippier be an unlikely but potentially useful alternative?

The 30-year-old’s delivery from the right is not in question. He is one of the best set-piece takers and crossers in the game.

This season, he has played at both right-back and on the wing for Atletico, and the latter could be one of the reasons United are seemingly interested.

United’s wide options are all young – and would remain so even if Sancho arrived. Signing Trippier could add considerable experience in a key area.

He played 15 times further forward this season and had six assists to his name. With Edinson Cavani ahead of him, Trippier could get plenty more than that at Old Trafford.

The unlikely change

Much has been made of Wan-Bissaka’s attacking quality. While he is one of the finest tacklers in the game, his output at the opposite end of the field needs improvement.

He is getting there. This season was a sign of better things to come. Yet there has been talk in some quarters of a potential positional change for the full-back.

According to the Sun, United are considering trying Wan-Bissaka at centre-back. The arrival of Trippier would help in that regard.

That said, most United fans would rather see another central defender arrive than try an experiment with Wan-Bissaka.

If Trippier does arrive at United this summer, it seems there will be a change one way or another.

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Vincent is the Senior Managing Editor of Freshered. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years.