Ghana's No. 1

Why Louis van Gaal trialled Manchester United defender Tyrell Malacia in new position

Published on: 26 September 2022

Tyrell Malacia has been an early success story since he completed his move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

Very few fans would have demanded the club target a new left-back this year, given the previous performances of Luke Shaw and the exciting potential of youngster Alvaro Fernandez.

However, Erik ten Hag didn't agree. He wanted a new option on the left side of defence and it already looks like his bold call has paid off.

Lyon had signalled their interest in signing the Feyenoord full-back and Ten Hag made it clear to United that he believed they should also be making an attempt to sign him in the summer.

He got his wish. United spent an initial £13m on the Dutch defender and, despite being signed as a back-up to Shaw, he has quickly taken his place in the starting line-up thanks to a string of impressive performances.

The 23-year-old will be expected to start again when United face Manchester City this weekend, but if the international break is anything to go by, he might also have another position to occupy this season.

The United defender was brought on for the Netherlands in their 1-0 triumph over Belgium on Sunday evening, but instead of playing at left-back, Malacia replaced centre-back Nathan Ake.

The decision raised a few eyebrows, but after the game, national team manager and former United boss Louis van Gaal explained his bold selection decision.

"I put Malacia in the LCB role because [Bruno] Martins Indi is not going to make it to the World Cup squad in time due to injury," Van Gaal told ESPN NL.


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