Would Seamus Coleman be the ideal right wing back for Manchester United’s 3-4-1-2?

Seamus Coleman has developed into one of the best right backs in the Premier League over the last few seasons. Arguably he is the best attacking right back in the league, having been deployed at times in the past as a right midfielder. His ability on the ball and ability to get up and down the right flank make him a great outlook for Roberto Martinez’s side.

The result of this has been links with Chelsea and Manchester United in recent months. The Manchester United link is probably the most obvious though as they are desperately in need of a top attacking right back to operate as a wing back in their 3-4-1-2 formation.

In this system United want a defender who can get forward and stretch the play, operating as an attacking outlet, given that the system is winger-less. But a player who can also read the danger and help turn the back three into a back five when under pressure. It’s difficult to think of a better right-back in the Premier League who can fulfill this role right now.

Coleman has created 17 chances this season for his Everton team-mates. As we can see below the bulk of these chances are created from very attacking positions down the right, showing how he gets into dangerous positions down the right flank.

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He also completes at least one dribble per game (attempting far more), with him more than willing to run at and in behind opposition full-backs. It’s typical of his play to make forward runs down the right and look to get on the end of passes. In doing this he stretches the game for his team-mates and plays an important tactical role. He’s aggressive and good on the ball and also an attacking threat with two goals in his 16 games. This is a complete right back. His defensive game is also good, perhaps even under-rated. This season he’s completed five defensive actions per game and won 71% of his tackles (averaging 1.7 succesful tackles per game).

Definitely a solid return. As a player in a 3-4-1-2 where he can get up and down, with more emphasis on the attack, he can certainly thrive. Reports are emerging that he’ll set the club back £25 million, which against the back drop of the £32 million they paid for Luke Shaw is actually not bad, given that he’s been playing at a good level for a few seasons. That being said, it is still expensive. Irrespective of the price, it’d be a very good fit from a tactical point of view.

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