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“He played a solid game”- Ten Hag on Manchester United star playing out of position in Nottingham Forest win

A closer look at the next FA Cup matchup for Manchester United.
A closer look at the next FA Cup matchup for Manchester United. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag lavishes praise on Sofyan Amrat for impressive left-back cameo

Manchester United advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup after defeating Wigan 2-0 in the third round, followed by a 4-2 victory over Newport County in the fourth round despite having top play Sofyan Amrabat out of position at left-back.

In their fifth-round fixture against Nottingham Forest, Manchester United secured a win with Casemiro’s 89th-minute goal at the City Ground, propelling them into the quarterfinals of the ongoing FA Cup campaign.

Erik ten Hag opted to deploy Fiorentina loanee Sofyan Amrabat in the left-back position for their recent FA Cup fixture. It is fair to say that the Moroccan did his job well.

Sofyan Amrabat is on loan at Manchester United from Fiorentina (Photo by PETER POWELL / AFP) (Photo by PETER POWELL/AFP via Getty Images)

As a defensive midfielder by trade, Sofyan Amrabat faced challenges in replicating Luke Shaw’s offensive impact during the match. Despite being deployed out of position, he gradually adapted and became more influential. Amrabat displayed versatility by shifting centrally and providing defensive cover out wide, a task that is difficult even for regular full-backs.

His ability to invert when in possession added a different dimension to Manchester United’s dynamics. Additionally, his accuracy in long passes, completing 7 out of 7 attempts, highlighted his proficiency in distribution during the game.

Erik ten Hag was full of praise for Sofyan Amrabat in his post-match press conference via the official website:

“For Sofyan, he is not a full-back, but he played a solid game, especially I think after 55 minutes when he played in the middle [when we were] in possession. Then also, he understood what to do in the defending, in the rest defence, and from that moment on we took the control.”

The left-back crisis at Old Trafford

Manchester United are grappling with an injury crisis, particularly in the left full-back position. Luke Shaw, the English international, is sidelined with an injury, facing several months out of action. Additionally, Shaw’s backup, Tyrell Malacia, is also unavailable due to injury, yet to make a return to Old Trafford.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw failed to prevent West Ham United from scoring two goals. (Credit: TNT Sports)
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has been injured and facing a few months on the sidelines. (Credit: TNT Sports)

To compound matters, Manchester United opted to terminate Sergio Reguilon’s season-long loan from Tottenham Hotspur, further depleting their options at left-back. Victor Lindelof has been deployed in the position, but his recent struggles against Aston Villa have prompted Erik ten Hag to reassess his role in the team.

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Comparing him with Victor Lindelof’s performance, Sofyan Amrabat should be in line to start at left-back against Manchester City at the weekend.

Written by Jainil Shah

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