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Erik ten Hag has revealed the difference between his two right-backs Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the duo involved in a battle for a starting spot under the Manchester United manager.
Dalot was involved in the most recent match against Newcastle at the beginning of the month as Wan-Bissaka was unavailable due to illness.
But with the latter expected to be back in contention to take on Brentford this evening, Erik ten Hag has revealed that there is a “really close” competition between the pair for a place in the starting XI.
Erik ten Hag reveals difference between duo
Both right-backs have missed various periods of the campaign through various issues, with Dalot once struggling with a hamstring injury and Wan-Bissaka once struggling with a back issue.
But it is the Portugal international who has seemingly been the preferred option overall, with Dalot making 33 appearances in all competitions this season, 19 of which have come in the Premier League.
Wan-Bissaka meanwhile has made 22 appearances in all competitions, playing 11 times in the league. He was, however, forced to miss a large chunk of the campaign between August and December through injury.
“I think it’s really close, the competition between them,” said Ten Hag, as quoted by the official Man Utd website. “Maybe Aaron gives you a little bit more defending, Diogo gives you maybe a little more offence.
“But I have to say I think they both have made progress in both areas, so it’s really close.”
Tough test for Man Utd
The Man United manager noted that while the form of the player is key, there are also other factors at play when it comes to starting roles, with the quality and type of opposition also a factor.
Dalot was handed the job of facing Brentford in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign, although that ended in a disastrous 4-0 defeat for the Red Devils, in what was the club’s second match under Erik ten Hag.
Wan-Bissaka was an unused substitute that day in west London, but he could be the one handed the responsibility of dealing with Brentford’s attacking threat at Old Trafford this evening.
“You look at the opponent, you look at the load on the players and you have to manage that when you have two almost-equal players.
“Then the form they are in is also an issue and then, of course, how is the team doing in the moment? Then you make your decisions.”
Key period for Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag has done a superb job since taking over the Red Devils in the summer, bringing huge success in his brief time in the dugout so far.
His side sit joint third in the Premier League table with Tottenham and Newcastle, while he has brought silverware to Old Trafford in the form of the League Cup trophy.
While a place in the top four will now be a priority, there is also the small matter of the Europa League still to play for, with Man Utd set to take on Sevilla in the quarter-finals later this month.
And the Red Devils are also into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they meet high-flying Brighton, also later this month.
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