Perhaps one striking aspect during Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat against Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid was the positions of certain players.

Marcus Rashford was deployed up front, with youngster Alejandro Garnacho playing down the left flank. Another curious site, although one which has been seen with mixed results, was the decision to play Bruno Fernandes on the right-hand side.

The decision to play the United captain down the right, with Antony on the bench was strange, but it isn’t the first time ten Hag has decided to shift Fernandes to the wing.

When United paid an initial £47 million to sign Fernandes, it was not with the view to him playing on the right wing.

READ MORE: Manchester United transfer history 2013 to present day

Liverpool memories

Cast your mind back to the disastrous defeat at Anfield last season, sorry that I’ve had to bring it up again but it is certainly important to look at. Fernandes was deployed on the left-hand side that day, which was a strange decision.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is known for his defensive deficiencies, was pitted against Fernandes who isn’t one to take on his man one vs one, something that Rashford is certainly willing to do.

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Obviously, United losing 7-0 was not down to Fernandes not being deployed at number 10, but it is food for thought.

Last night, as mentioned, Fernandes was playing on the right, which meant United couldn’t get the best out of the Portuguese as his chance creation was limited due to being on the right.

United fans on Twitter were seemingly unhappy with the midfielder being shifted to the right-hand side once again following mixed results last season.

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

Lack of mobility in the midfield

Another aspect that cost United last night, and could be an issue going forward, is the lack of mobility from the midfield. Once Kobbie Mainoo, who has been the star of this pre-season, was substituted following an injury and replaced by Christian Eriksen, all of the bite and aggressiveness left United.

Due to Eriksen’s age and maybe lack of fitness, United struggled in midfield against Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Luka Modric, the bite of Mainoo may have helped.

Another player who could, hypothetically, help is Sofyan Amrabat. The Moroccan midfielder has been heavily linked to United and Alfredo Pedulla, an Italian Journalist, has claimed an offer has been made for the Fiorentina player.

The aggression and technical quality of the midfielder would add a different dimension to United and would allow Fernandes to play on the right as United would potentially have a more athletic midfield three to accommodate the Portuguese not being part of the midfield three.

As things stand, the signing of Amrabat is hypothetical but nevertheless, he would add something different that I don’t believe United currently possess. Along with a striker, Amrabat would be a crucial signing to almost complete the midfield rebuild.

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