How Manchester United might line up next season with spending nearly done
Following Louis van Gaal’s announcement that he wants two more major signings before the end of the transfer window, after a busy summer of spending so far, Coral take a look at how Manchester United might line up next season, with the Red Devils 6/1 to win the Premier League.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Despite strong links to Real Madrid, the Spaniard is likely to stay at Old Trafford for at least one more season. After a sensational campaign last term, he is set to resume his position between the sticks and should have a stronger defence in front of him. With Victor Valdes likely to be sold, Van Gaal may bring in another experienced back-up goalkeeper at a cheaper price.
Right back: Matteo Darmian
Quite simply, bought to start. Having moved from Torino in the summer for £12m the Italian has an abundance of potential and is one of the best in his position in the game. At 25, he is the right age and while solid in defence, he can also contribute going forward. Antonio Valencia provides competent cover, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones can also play there.
Centre back: Nicolas Otamendi
Valencia are likely to accept an improved bid from United and, being one of the best defenders in Europe, he will drastically improve the club’s defence. Spanish speaking, Otamendi can also form a good understanding with his goalkeeper, as well as his centre back partner.
Centre back: Marcos Rojo
Bought last summer, he was probably one of the most consistent performers last term and will provide a perfect foil for compatriot Otamendi. Also capable of playing at left back, the club have Smalling, Jones and youngster Paddy McNair as more than adequate cover.
Left back: Daley Blind
Another of last summer’s signings who have excelled. The Dutchman’s composure on the ball, ability to read the game and superb left foot, for the moment at least, sees him as the perfect player in this position. While Blind is just as capable as a deep-lying midfielder, Van Gaal needs him here at the minute until Luke Shaw learns the position more thoroughly, while Rojo can also fill in.
Defensive midfield: Michael Carrick
Despite a host of signings in the middle of the park, for the moment at least, the Englishman is still the best option they have for this role. In time, Blind will take over here, with Carrick possibly likely to contemplate retirement soon, which would see an improved Shaw step in at left back. Jones has also shown done a job here before.
Central midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger
The German’s experience will be crucial and, like Carrick, he has all the qualities of a player in this position, however, unlike him Schweinsteiger can offer more attacking traits. Likely to play a huge part in the Champions League, if he can stay fit the 30-year-old will be pivotal for Van Gaal’s side next term.
Central midfield: Morgan Scnheiderlin
Bought to play, though he could rotate with Ander Herrera, who showed that he has the energy to perform in a box-to-box role last term, as well as chipping in with goals, or Marouane Fellaini, while Juan Mata will also be a consideration, though at the tip of a diamond, depending on which system Van Gaal chooses.
Left forward: Memphis Depay
Excelled at PSV Eindhoven last season, this Dutchman is a huge talent. He can have a big impact on the English game, and is blessed with pace and an eye for goal. With the future of Argentine Angel Di Maria up in the air, should he end up staying, Depay is more than capable of deputising though in a more withdrawn role.
Right forward: Wayne Rooney
Unlikely to stay exactly where he is, expect United’s front three to interchange if Van Gaal plays this system, with support, the Red Devils captain can return to prolific goal-scoring form. Comeback kid Ashley Young is waiting in the wings, who Van Gaal appeared to get the best out of last term.
Centre forward: Robert Lewandowski
Apparently for sale at £40m, the Polish hitman would be a great addition and suits a counter-attacking game, which is what Van Gaal plays. However, his current Bayern Munich teammate, Thomas Muller and PSG’s Edinson Cavani have also been linked, so it could be more of a case of watch this space. Mexican Javier Hernandez also provides more than capable back-up.