Lee Ryder in the Chronicle is reporting that Matt Ritchie’s hamstring is not too bad and should not keep him out of action for too long.
This begs the question who will play against Arsenal at left wing-back? Rolando Aarons came on for Ritchie against Hibernian but he is not really a wing-back. To be fair, either is Ritchie.
We assume that the formation going into the season will be the 3-5-2 that Steve Bruce has used in the preceding three matches. We are desperately short at the position and actually have no natural left wing-backs even with Ritchie fit. Even our top target, Stanley N’Soki, is more of a full-back or a left sided centre-back in a back three.
Matt Ritchie– Murphy’s law strikes again
We are really a little concerned at the lack of depth on the left side. We should be decently covered on the right side with Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin. Even Jamie Sterry can do a job there in an emergency but he really should be out on loan this season.
On the left, last season we had Kenedy and Antonio Barreca who could cover the wing-back position but both have returned to their respective clubs this summer. Barreca has joined Genoa on loan for the upcoming campaign.
Achraf Lazaar has not featured since the club returned from China so we would expect that he will not be part of the squad.
So we really need to concentrate on that left wing-back position. Ritchie can do a job there but a natural left wing-back would be a really nice addition. Even a young player who can just be cover for Matt for the upcoming season. We really hope that a natural left wing-back is in plans for this window.
We were buzzing with the reports of Philipp Max from Augsburg but that may be a bit unrealistic. But the position needs to be addressed this window.
This article was originally posted here