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Strength? Agility? Composure? The things Manchester United's defence lacks

Strength? Agility? Composure? The things Manchester United's defence lacks

Manchester United stumbled in their opening game of the Premier League season, as they lost 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace.

Whilst United's attack was underwhelming, the defence was utterly appalling, with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire both struggling to contain Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha, who destroyed the centre-backs.

Lindelof was arguably at fault for all three goals, failing to defend a cross for the first, conceding the penalty for the second, and getting absolutely rinsed both ability-wise and strength-wise for the third. Maguire did not cover himself in any glory either, giving away the ball repeatedly throughout the 90 minutes.

The two centre-backs constantly went under fire throughout last season, and this was an indication that things have not changed, with Lindelof being bullied off the ball, whilst Maguire struggled with Zaha's pace and dribbling.

This highlights what the two centre-backs lack, with Lindelof struggling when it comes to strength and aerial ability, with this being indicative when it comes to the numerous mistakes he makes when in close contact with forwards, whilst Maguire repeatedly gets turned inside out and gets beaten for pace time after time.

Yes the two defenders both have their respective qualities, with Lindelof being very good on the ball and actually defending very well when it comes to intercepting passes from the channels, but his negatives almost always outweigh his positives.

Likewise with Maguire, with his aerial prowess and strength as a defender coming to his advantage repeatedly, yet he always gets beaten by quick, agile players like Zaha.

What United desperately need is a defender that actually has a balance of all of this, almost like a calmer, less injury prone Eric Bailly, someone like Dayot Upamecano or Stefan de Vrij.

Reports are linking United with a move for Porto's Alex Telles, and whilst it may be a good move as it strengthens the depth of the squad at a crucial position, given Luke Shaw's injury history, there are other positions, like centre-back, that need strengthening even more.

Getting rid of the deadwood at the position, such as selling Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, is crucial, especially to raise some sort of funds to get a defender that is more reliable in.

United have got plenty of things to fix, but a solid foundation in the defence is badly needed, more than anywhere else.


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