Enda Stevens made an immediate impact in midweek on his return to first-team football, and Slavisa Jokanovic believes the Irishman and Rhys Norrington-Davies will give him a headache this season.
Stevens made his long-awaited return against Southampton. It was the first time we’d seen the 31-year-old all season. And he didn’t take long to make his mark either, as he slotted in Jayden Bogle’s cross early on.
With 90 minutes now in the tank and a home game with Derby to think about, Stevens will be hoping to reclaim his spot as first-choice left-back at the club.
However, Jokanovic, who was speaking in his pre-match presser today, insists both players will be in his thoughts throughout the campaign.
Competition for places
Speaking to Yorkshire Live as part of his press conference, the Serbian manager spoke of both Stevens and Norrington-Davies. But rather than name a first-choice, Jokanovic insisted both are in his thoughts.
“Both are my first choice. We will see what decision I take for next game,” Jokanovic said.
“Enda is a very experienced player. Rhys has played decent for the team and I expect they will fight between them and to put me in the situation where I don’t know which one is the best option.”
After the Southampton game, Jokanovic admitted that Stevens had impressed him. But he won’t want to immediately disregard Norrington-Davies. The Welshman has done well enough at times, albeit probably not at the level of Enda.
Our View: Enda Stevens is first-choice, there is no debate
It pretty much mirrors our view from earlier in the week when we wrote about Stevens. But put simply, he is the best left-back at the club.
Throughout the season, you need your best players. And Enda Stevens is one of the better United stars. He’s proven both in the Premier League, and at international level with Ireland. He also showed in midweek what he’s all about.
We’re happy for Norrington-Davies to be around the squad. But for now, he needs to take a back seat while Stevens plays. With the Irishman back, we fully expect to see United improve defensively.