The availability of Manchester United players to manager Erik ten Hag has revealed just why the Dutchman is concerned over his squad depth.
While the United boss has made some important additions to his team since arriving last summer, he has been very vocal about his need for more signings.
And the lack of attacking options Ten Hag has continued to point out, is perhaps the most obvious weakness in the squad as shown on this Twitter graph by TheDevilsDNA.
[#MUFC Availability of Players, 22/23]
-3 players (DDG, Malacia, Fred) have been available for selection to Ten Hag for the entire season
– ETH’s attacker depth complaints seem valid – 4 are <75% with Martial (40%) & Sancho (67%) big misses
– RB also issue, All 3 in bottom 8 pic.twitter.com/fOlQHH8iny
— The Devil’s DNA (@TheDevilsDNA) February 11, 2023
The former Ajax coach managed to secure his fellow countryman Wout Weghorst in January, the giant striker arriving on loan from Burnley until the end of the season.
And the importance of his signature, albeit on a short term deal, is highlighted in the table.
With four of United’s attackers being available for 75% of matches or less, the options have been limited for Ten Hag.
The sensational form of Marcus Rashford and the emergence of Alejandro Garnacho as a first team regular have seen the Red Devils still producing goals this season.
But there has been a huge level of inconsistency from other players in these forward positions, with new Brazilian signing Antony and fellow young South American star Facundo Pellistri regularly unavailable for selection.
Anthony Martial, who is arguably a starter in the side when fit, has seen his constant injury woes rule him out of a huge 60% of games.
The striker has been a big loss to the side, with the Frenchman adding goals when he has featured, and providing link-up play that no other striker at the club seems to offer the manager.
With another big money signing in Jadon Sancho being a huge miss too, the options in attack have left Ten Hag desperate to bolster his sides forward options in the summer.
Further issues are evident in the statistics graphic, with right-back appearing a problem position too, with all three of the club’s players in that position within the bottom 8.
Solace it seems has come in the constant availability and excellent form of keeper David de Gea, the Spaniard one of only three players who the boss has been able to call upon whenever he has needed.
With United still battling on four fronts this season, it remains to be seen if the squad has what it takes to deliver silverware, with the first chance coming a week on Sunday, when the Reds travel to Wembley to face Newcastle in the Carabao cup final.