A broken leg for Luke Shaw in the recent Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven has given Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal a major cause for concern, with the England international facing a significant lay-off.
Without the former Southampton star, who was starting to come into his own at Old Trafford, the Red Devils boss must decide the best personnel in his back four to continue the form that has propelled the side to the top of the Premier League.
The natural replacement appears to be Marcos Rojo, who has played consistently for Argentina at left-back and could slot into the role.
If Van Gaal sees fit, the South American could even be used as a centre-half, with Daley Blind slotting in at full-back as he has done in the past.
However, a potential ideal solution comes in the form of a tactic that Chelsea have used over the last 18 months.
The Blues have successfully deployed right-back Cesar Azpilicueta on the alternative flank, where the Spaniard has been one of the team’s most consistent players.
Against Sunderland at the weekend, Van Gaal opted to play his usual right-back Matteo Darmian on the opposite flank, with Antonio Valencia coming into the team on the other wing.
This has worked for Chelsea, and with the Italy international having experience of playing as a left-back for Torino, the tactic could be ideal to plug the significant gap left by Shaw’s injury.