Date: 6th October 2009 at 10:17am
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Ritchie de Laet has signed a new three-year deal at Manchester United after impressing in pre-season. The Belgian defender joined from Stoke in January and every time he got the chance to play for the first team he showed good pace and a healthy aggression.

‘Alex Ferguson told me I’m very close to the first team,’ he told The Sun.

‘There has been talk of me going out on loan but Sir Alex said I can’t leave as he may need me. The new contract is a surprise and fantastic news.’

Full-back is a problematic area these days: none of our right-backs is top class (and only O’Shea spends more time on the pitch than on the treatment table) while Patrice Evra is world class but his replacement in case of an injury or suspension is either O’Shea who is frequently needed on the other flank or Fabio who is inexperienced and injury prone.

So it’s good to see De Laet progressing well, he gives us another option, especially as he’s competent on both flanks. Hopefully this deal means Fergie is counting on him.