Robin Gosens will be missing for Atalanta next week when they face Manchester United. But the international break was a timely reminder of the threat Joakim Maehle will pose.
The Italians will be without their star wing-back Gosens for our Champions League double header after Germany coach Hansi Flick confirmed the 27-year-old had suffered a thigh injury.
Flick claimed that Gosens had been “seriously injured” and Tuttomercatoweb are reporting that he could be out for up to two months.
But Atalanta are so much more than Gosens and although their attacking prowess will suffer as a result, in Maehle, they have a wing-back, who is equally adept at contributing to his team’s attack.
Maehle could hurt United
The Danish international started Atalanta’s last game before the international break in the left wing-back position.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka suspended for another game, it will be Diogo Dalot, who struggled to contain Arnaut Danjuma against Villarreal, tasked with thwarting Maehle if Gian Piero Gasperini opts to go with a 3-5-2 formation.
At the Euros, Maehle scored two goals and got one assist from his six games before his nation were knocked out by England in the semi-finals.
Playing in the left-wing back role for his country against Austria last night, Maehle scored the only goal of the game after latching onto a Thomas Delaney pass and cleverly beating Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann with first-time near post finish.
The 24-year-old also created the most chances (3) in last night’s World Cup qualifier (WhoScored).
This came after Maehle scored his side’s fourth against Moldova three days prior.
After Yussuf Poulsen was denied, Maehle was the furthest Danish player forward and tapped the ball home.
Tough challenge awaits
There is no denying that Gosens is a massive miss for Atalanta and it’s a relief that we’re not coming up against both the marauding German and Maehle.
But we have to be wary of the Danish star who now has seven goals and two assists from 21 caps.
He will be constantly making runs in behind a defence that will probably not have Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in it.
Atalanta is going to be a very difficult challenge but their secret weapon and threat could come through Joakim Maehle.
Solskjaer will have to come up with a plan to nullify his threat but also take the game to the Serie A side.
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