Last season, all of Manchester United’s wingers had a woeful campaign in the Premier League.
The fact that Patrice Evra scored more goals than Nani, Valencia and Young combined says a lot about how their seasons went.
But even with their almost invisible year, United’s wingers have dominated the Premier League since 2007 when you take a look back at the statistics.
On the assists chart since August 2007, United players make up six out of the top ten. Young and Van Persie aside, given that they are on the list due to their exploits at Aston Villa and Arsenal, it is a testament to how important wingers are to United and how impressive they have been for the club in the past six years.
Sir Alex Ferguson loved natural width. It was the hallmark of how United played underneath him. David Moyes’ use of Wilfried Zaha in the pre-season indicated he was willing to continue that tradition but so far in the league, we have adopted a narrow and compact formation instead.
Nani has just signed a new deal with United, Valencia has shown glimpses he is getting his confidence back and Young is just two assists away from topping the charts ahead of Cesc Fabregas, who remains atop the list despite leaving England two years ago.
Also, the chart highlights the roundedness of Wayne Rooney‘s game. He is more than just a goalscorer, he is a chance creator and playmaker too.
Despite Moyes’ narrow approach thus far, he will know how important United’s wingers are to the team. Players who create chances are just as important as those who score them and it is great that United have got those types of players in abundance. Let’s just hope that our wingers can return to form this season.
Who do you think is Manchester United’s best winger?