Manchester United’s second half capitulation against FC Basel on Wednesday night demonstrated in painful fashion the dearth of capable full-backs at Jose Mourinho’s disposal.
Matteo Darmian‘s poor discipline led to the home side winning a succession of free-kicks during the latter stages and gaining momentum as a result, while Daley Blind‘s lack of pace and awareness eventually allowed Michael Lang to steal a late winner.
Needless to say, Mourinho will want to see a more commanding, energetic display from his full-backs against a Brighton side that will try and minimise the space between their defence and midfield.
Supporters will be glad to see Mourinho’s strongest full-back combination return to the starting XI after receiving a rest during the week.
But perhaps their presence on the pitch on Saturday will take on a different, perhaps didactic meaning following the horror show in Switzerland.
After all, the notion that Mourinho’s best full-backs are not, by trade, actual full-backs should provide cause for concern, and perhaps incentive to invest in that area over the January transfer window. Two 32-year-old former wingers are simply not the answer at this level.