A two-time Premier League title winner with Man Utd has told Erik ten Hag which winger he should sign, who he should axe and who must be avoided at all costs.
The Red Devils’ primary focus this summer is poised to revolve around signing a top class centre-forward. Doing so will likely push Marcus Rashford back out to the left wing.
However, according to former United defender, Paul Parker, Ten Hag should be sizing up a a Premier League-proven left winger who’s quickly becoming a defender’s worst nightmare.
Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma is the man in question, with Parker a huge admirer of his direct approach and running power.
Mitoma, 25, has recently been scouted by United officials, according to the Sun. The Japan international has bagged nine goals and six assists this term and has thrived against the biggest opponents.
Indeed, he’s scored against Arsenal in both the league and EFL Cup this term. He also bagged a last-minute winner to dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup.
Via Goal, Parker – who won titles with United in ’93 and ’94 – said: “I really like him. He is very direct and he wants to go on the outside of his opponent, which is a rarity in today’s football.
“No defender wants that and he is very good at that. Mitoma would also be a very good PR-signing. To see a Japanese player at Man United would be a huge story.”
Parker wants rid of Man Utd flop
Of course, United are unlikely to sign another wide player unless first letting one or two go. Ten Hag can already call upon the likes of Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Antony, Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellistri and Anthony Elanga for the wide berths.
However, if Parker had his way, United would sign Mitoma to replace Sancho who in his mind, has already proven himself to be a bust.
Parker continued: “I would love to see [Mitoma] at Man Utd, but then they have to offload some of their wingers and they could start with getting rid of Jadon Sancho. I would rather have Mitoma in the squad than him.
“He has proven himself in the Premier League and I doubt that Sancho will ever do that. I think he should go back to Germany and play in his comfort zone where he is best.
“But if he comes to the club, Man Utd needs to figure out what to do with Marcus Rashford, who is best on the left wing.
“But that’s a luxury problem to have two good wingers.”
Sancho was a £73m signing from Borussia Dortmund back in 2021 following a multi-window pursuit by United.
While he has shown glimpses of the form that earned that move, it’s fair to say United fans would have hoped for more than what’s he’s produced thus far.
Indeed, 10 goals and four assists in 63 matches is not the type of return £73m players are expected to provide.
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Ten Hag must avoid Barcelona trap
Elsewhere, Parker poured cold water on the idea of United moving for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
In doing so, Parker took another swipe at Sancho, as well as Antony too.
“No, I would definitely not want to have Ousmane Dembele at Man Utd,” continued Parker. “He is always injured and he hasn’t proved himself at a big club.
“He did well at Dortmund but hasn’t done it at Barcelona yet, so he is not a player that I would want.
“I don’t think he is better than the wingers they already have and that says a lot about him because it isn’t the most difficult thing to be better than Jadon Sancho and Antony. He is predictable and I have to say no to him at United.
“Wherever he goes, the manager needs to make him into a different animal than what he is now.”
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