In the decisive battle between Canada and Croatia at the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar, Tajon Buchanan stood out as a man whose career is worth watching, especially for Manchester United.
The 23-year-old was deployed to the right of the three forwards, and his direct dribbling and decisive play posed a constant threat to the opponent’s defense.
Like Alfonso Davis on the opposite flank, Buchanan often plays for his country further forward than for his club.
During his time in MLS, he played mainly as a right defender or right wingback, marauding on the field to support attacks.
Since joining Brugge in January of this year, he has played in almost all long-range positions on the field, even in the center of the field.
This versatility has been an important aspect of his development, as he has shown his willingness to perform any task that is required of him on the field.
It was something that was clearly visible against Croatia. Buchanan did just as good a job turning the life of Croatian left-back Born Sosa into a living hell as he helped stop any attempts by Ivan Perisic to threaten Canada’s defense.
In the early stages of the match, the flank belonged to Buchanan.
His assist in the first match of the Canadian national team was the perfect manifestation of his love of stepping over, his attacking threat and his ability to put the ball on the plate, and his canopy was realized by Alfonso Davis.
Buchanan’s influence on the right flank was so strong that Kovacic and Brozovic had to switch sides to suppress his involvement both in possession and off the ball.
In the second half, Canada took full advantage of his versatility, playing with him from the right back, on the left flank, and then in front, trying to even the score with the Croats.
While the speedster’s adaptability deserves praise, his skills suggest that, like fellow countryman Davis, he is ready for a career as an attacking defender. The combination of perseverance and cunning makes him a model of a modern extreme defender.
Since Manchester United currently have no real competition for Diogo Dalot’s place in the team, it is not surprising that the scouts of the Red Devils are showing great interest in Buchanan in the future.
He may not have the pedigree of a Bayern Munich left-back yet, but under the right circumstances he can become an equally interesting player at a top club.
Buchanan will have the responsibility of securing a solid position in Bruges before he takes a step forward, but he is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Canada may not be participating in the World Cup, but you haven’t heard of Tajon Buchanan yet.