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Manchester United now have a fullback who has them ready for Batlle…

See what we did there?

Manchester United WFC v Reading WFC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Two things became incredibly apparent after sitting in the press box and watching Manchester United’s WSL opener against Reading.

One, United had an incredible amount of attacking talent available to them both on the pitch and off the bench, with new signings Lucia Garcia, Adriana Leon and Nikita Parris adding to an existing wealth of options going forward.

And secondly, in Ona Batlle, United Women have one of the best full-backs in world football.

Now saying Batlle is ‘excellent’ isn’t new information; the full-back won the club’s Woman’s Player of the Year at the end of her first campaign and was named in the PFA Team of the Year after her second. But seeing her first-hand for the first time confirmed to me that this is a player destined for the very top.

That last comment is one that will likely strike fear into United fans' hearts. Batlle’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season and her former side Barcelona have been circling, meaning this could be the Spanish full-back’s last season in a red shirt.

But instead of worrying about what’s to come, United fans should enjoy the sunshine while it’s here. And if the 23-year-old’s performance against Reading is anything to go by then the fans will be in for a spectacle (well at least down the right-hand side).

It was clear from the get-go that United were the dominant side. Reading rarely got past the halfway line as Katie Zelem and Hayley Ladd broke up the play in the centre of the park.

Debutant Maya Le Tissier stole the headlines with a clean sheet and a brace, both scored from corners, but in open play, it was Batlle who took control of the game.

Going down the right-hand side, she was a consistent threat to the Reading defence. Acting more like a winger than a full-back she held the width and found pockets of space which then allowed her to deliver a high volume of crosses into the box.

This finally bore fruit in the 35th minute as Alessia Russo finally broke free of her defender and rose high to head the ball into the back of the net.

After the match, manager Mark Skinner stated: “I want to score goals, I want to play with the ball. As you’ve seen today I think it’ll equate to about 70 per cent possession. But we want to be useful with our possession rather than passive so we’ve got to have different ways of scoring.”

Batlle gives United a different way to attack and combined with the imperious aerial presence of Russo, a different way to score goals. And this will likely continue as United face West Ham in the second game of their WSL campaign.

If this season is to be her last in a United shirt then so be it, but based on her opening game against Reading, she is going to be a vital piece of Mark Skinner’s puzzle as he looks to break into the big three this season.