Rangnick insists Man Utd players are adapting to his methodsx
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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick suggested that he would be open to fielding a back-three formation during his temporary stint in charge, with performances leaving plenty to be desired at present. That could open the door for three Red Devils stars, who may not be the first names on the team sheet at present, to benefit from greater opportunities.
A painful defeat at home to Wolves last time out sent Rangnick back to the drawing board, with fans and players perplexed at how they could put on such a poor showing.
When pressed on the options available to him, the German recently claimed that he could implement a change in formation.
“I think with our team, we have those two options. In order to play with a back three, we need to have most of our centre-backs available,” he said.
“I think we can play in the back three, this could be an option for us, but, as I said, it also depends on the players available, on the current shape and form of the players and also, to a certain extent, to the team against which we are playing.”
If Rangnick does experiment over the coming weeks, Express Sport looks at the trio of stars who could benefit as a result:
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The Brazilian started the first three Premier League games of Rangnick’s tenure, before making way for a more conventional left-back in Luke Shaw.
But a back-three formation does not require a conventional left-back, but rather a left-wing-back who is more comfortable and productive when flying forward.
Telles certainly falls into that category, with his wicked left foot and terrific delivery earning plaudits from fans.
In his last full season with Porto, the 29-year-old notched a hugely impressive 11 league goals, numbers he could aim for if Rangnick deployed him in a more attacking role.
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Following the exact same pattern as Telles, Dalot started the first three league games under United’s new management before making way for the more defensive-minded Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The Englishman put on a poor showing against Wolves, however, which could open the door for Dalot to stamp his authority on Rangnick’s right-back spot.
His chances of doing so could become even greater if the Red Devils were suddenly in need of a right-wing-back, as Dalot’s pace makes him a dangerous offensive weapon.
Nine Premier League appearances so far this campaign hardly suggests a bright and fruitful future for the Portuguese at Old Trafford, but a prospective change in formation could become a turning point in his young career.
Alongside wing-backs, another requirement for switching to a formation which includes three centre-backs is… more centre-backs.
Widely considered to be United’s third choice behind Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, Lindelof could find himself promoted straight to the starting line-up if Rangnick pulls the trigger on his new formation.
With 13 league appearances to his name all season, Lindelof has not been completely frozen out in the cold, but he is far from a nailed-on starter at Old Trafford.
A formation change would also come as good news for fellow centre-backs Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, who would both be breathing down Lindelof’s neck for the third starting berth.
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