Luke Shaw faces a spell on the sidelines due to a muscle injury. It’s the last thing Manchester United needed.

David Ornstein reports United hope it will be weeks rather than months. That doesn’t sound promising.

We know by now, when it comes to injury recovery times at Manchester United, it is always the worst case option.

Take Tyrell Malacia for instance. An injury to keep him off the pre-season tour has turned into one where there is no prospect of a return any time soon. He could be out as long as Luke Shaw.

READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loans, releases, youth for 2023/24

Diogo Dalot the short-term replacement

In the immediate term, Diogo Dalot will step in. The former Porto defender has begun the season as second choice right-back to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and will be glad of the game time.

But it’s not really enough. Erik ten Hag wants competition for places, and there is suddenly none, at either full-back position, if Dalot is moved to left-back.

Alex Telles has been sold and Brandon Williams sent on loan. He won’t be recalled.

Manchester United v Athletic Club Bilbao, pre season friendly match, Dublin.
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

United need Alvaro Fernandez or even a new signing

There are two options to provide left-back cover. One is to promote Alvaro Fernandez and make a U-turn on his proposed exit.

The former Real Madrid trainee has first team experience at Preston and would love the opportunity to step up.

The question is whether Erik ten Hag believes he is good enough. If he doesn’t, then he won’t play him.

He could switch Lisandro Martinez to left-back or even Victor Lindelof. Fernandez is about to find out where he stands.

We suspect, it may be bad news for him. Sky Sports had reported United were in talks with Granada over a loan deal for Fernandez.

The other option, is for United to dip into the barren transfer kitty and try and sign a player. A loan deal would make sense, given that Shaw and Malacia will return.

But finding a player who is United standard, and available for loan, is not so straightforward, and there is not much time to play with.

United also need to sign midfield cover, and another striker, while a back-up goalkeeper deal is in the pipeline.

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