Man United are very close to completing their first signing of the summer with the acquisition of Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.
The Red Devils have already agreed a fee with the Eredivisie side for him and are close to agreeing on personal terms too.
Erik ten Hag is reportedly a big fan of the 22-year-old after watching him impress in the Dutch league last season.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the two ways United can line up with Malacia next season (these lineups have only been made involving current players in the squad).
Option 1: As Luke Shaw’s Alternative/Replacement
Malacia is expected to be the second-choice left-back at Old Trafford and will provide competition for Luke Shaw. But Ten Hag can also bench the Englishman to play the 22-year-old defender if he wants in certain games.
The Dutch international is a hard-working, efficient left-back and can fit in well into United’s system. He’ll probably look to create a strong bond with Jadon Sancho, who is expected to play as the left-winger for the majority of the campaign.
Option 2: In a back-five
If Ten Hag ever wants to use a three-man backline for United, he can probably play both Shaw as well as Malacia in the same team. Luke has proven himself well capable of operating as a left-sided center-back in a back three in the past.
In that case, Malacia can operate as a left wing-back in which he’ll get more license to roam forward. The 22-year-old loves to dribble past players and burst into attacking areas, so he can probably love the freedom in this kind of a system as well.