Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has claimed that Alphonso Davies ‘isn’t a great defender’ in defence of his team news ahead of their Champions League group stage opener against Bayern Munich.
The Red Devils have traveled to the Allianz Arena to take on the German Champions in poor form, following a 3-1 defeat to Brighton at the weekend and with just two wins in their first five games of the season.
They are without a whole host of stars, with wide options Jadon Sancho and Antony both out of the squad for off-the-pitch reasons. It means that Ten Hag opted for a diamond midfield, something that backfired spectacularly.
At the Allianz Arena, the Dutchman reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 system, which meant that Uruguayan midfielder Facundo Pellistri was selected on the right side of the attack for his first start of the season.
And Ten Hag was quick to point to a key reason for the decision to start the youngster, going on the front foot to throw shots at Thomas Tuchel’s side.
“[Alphonso] Davies isn’t a great defender. Pellistri can match Davies with his dribbling”, he told TNTSports when quizzed on his team selection.
Though the comments may well contain elements of truth, they could well come back to bite United should Bayern ease past the Red Devils as expected.
United face a tough period ahead of them with several key men out injured. Both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are expected to be out for several weeks while midfield pair Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat are still recovering from injuries of their own.
It means that Sergio Reguilon and Diogo Dalot are both expected to be regular players for the coming weeks with the absence of alternatives.