Manchester United might need Sofyan Amrabat to help fix their biggest weakness – Tyrone Marshall

There were positives to take from the way United played at the Emirates, compared to what had come before in the previous three games, although what happened in the game has been an afterthought in a week where the narrative has understandably centred on Jadon Sancho and Antony.

It&aposs also true that some of those improvements have been a little overstated, such as Ten Hag&aposs claim that his team deserved to win the match. They might have been value for a point, but there can be no argument that it was Arsenal who created the better chances.

And that is where a lot of this season&aposs struggles are centred at the moment. United have become a more aggressive pressing team this season, playing a much higher line, but their desire to dominate has damaged a defensive record that was the bedrock of their success last season.

After four games, the balance isn&apost quite there. United do look better going forward and they are creating more chances, but they look much worse defensively and the quality of chances being given up should be a major concern to Ten Hag.

The season began with a fortunate clean sheet against Wolves at Old Trafford, but United have now let in seven goals in their last three games. Despite those statistics, there are no complaints about Andre Onana, who has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford.

Instead, the issue is less to do with the personnel involved and more to do with the system and that desire to take the game to the opposition and play in their half. United are pushing on, but leaving themselves exposed in the process and are yet to get the balance quite right.

It can be summed up by the statistics. In their 62 games in all competitions last season, on 20 occasions United kept the opposition to an expected goals (xG) tally of less than one. In four Premier League games so far this season, it has been at least 1.2 (vs Nottingham Forest), and up at 2.2 against Wolves and 2.3 against Arsenal, while Tottenham hit 1.7.

Those stats aren&apost for everyone but they are useful as a guide to the game, to see how created the better chances and give an indication of the balance of play. It clearly suggests that opposition teams are finding it easier to create more and better opportunities in front of goal against United than they were last season.

It is worth pointing out that United themselves are looking better going forward. They managed an xG of just 0.9 at Arsenal, but it&aposs been between 2.1 and 2.8 in their other three games. As so often, taking those chances is the issue.

But very few elite teams enjoy success when games turn into an end-to-end shootout. What Ten Hag really wants is control and at the moment that is missing from United&aposs game.

The challenge when the full first-team squad returns to Carrington after the international break is to find a way to get that without comprising too much on the attacking intent. Brighton are dangerous opposition for a team giving up too many chances, having had 82 shots in four games with an xG tally of nine.

Last season&aposs United coped pretty well with Roberto De Zerbi&aposs unique style of play, winning an FA Cup semi-final on penalties after a goalless draw and although they lost 1-0 at the Amex late in the season, they defended well and only lost to a very, very late penalty.

It feels like they might need to recapture that form to stop the Seagulls at Old Trafford. If United continue to give up chances at the rate they have been doing they will struggle this season.

Perhaps deadline day arrival Sofyan Amrabat will be key to that. It&aposs not yet clear how he will fit into this midfield, but the 27-year-old is combative and tenacious, is a natural defensive midfielder and keeps things simple with the ball. He might offer defensive solidity and some control.