Jose Mourinho has claimed that he won’t sign any attacking players in the summer transfer window following the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January. But the United manager may have to alter his plans after watching Sanchez struggle at Old Trafford.
As far as Arnautovic is concerned, he had a brilliant debut season with the East London outfit. The 29-year-old found the back of the net 11 times and supplied 6 assists to single-handedly drag West Ham back to safety in the Premier League.
Arnautovic’s blistering form has not gone unnoticed and with Mourinho planning to sign him in the summer, let us have a look at United’s attacking lineup featuring the Austrian.
Man United XI featuring Arnautovic
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Nemanja Matic (CM)
Matic has proven to be a top signing for United. He was signed by Mourinho to bring stability and calmness in the midfield and the Serb has provided exactly that. His performances have also added some much-needed bite in that department.
Paul Pogba (CM)
Matic’s arrival did provide Pogba with the license to flourish but it hasn’t proven to be enough. Regardless, the Frenchman is still likely to be seen alongside Matic in the centre of the park, particularly if Mourinho opts for his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
Alexis Sanchez (LW)
Sanchez has struggled to establish himself at Old Trafford since joining from Arsenal in January. But with Chile’s absence from the World Cup and a full pre-season under his belt, the 29-year-old could work wonders next term.
Jesse Lingard (RW)
Lingard has bulldozed his way into the starting XI with his consistent displays. He has been full of goals and assists while his work-ethic cannot be ignored.
Marko Arnautovic (CAM)
Arnautovic could find himself just behind the striker at United. The Austrian is one of the most inconsistent performers in the Premier League but going by his contributions last season, he has evolved as a player. Arnautovic’s burst of pace and creativity would keep the defenders on their toes, thereby offering United a different dimension in the attack.
Romelu Lukaku (ST)
Scoring 26 goals in his debut season at Manchester United is not a bad way to start. He has impressed with his link-up play and come next season, the Belgian will be hungry to score more.
If Mourinho decides to go with three men at the back, this is how United’s attacking lineup will be with Arnautovic. While Matic and Pogba will perform the same roles, there will be a slight change in the positions of the players up front.
Antonio Valencia (RWB)
Valencia has been the first-choice at right-back for United since Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal in 2016. At 32, the Ecuadorian is still going strong and an extra man in defence will help him move forward freely in order to join in attacks.
Luke Shaw (LWB)
Shaw has blown hot and cold this season and while a move elsewhere would help him resurrect his stagnated career, it is time for Mourinho to show faith in the full-back. At left wing-back, Shaw will have to worry less about the defensive side of the game and express himself more in attacks, which is his forte.
Alexis Sanchez (CAM)
Sanchez has played behind the striker on a number of occasions at Arsenal. And the Chilean could thrive in that position at United as well, creating and scoring goals at a premium rate.
Romelu Lukaku (CF)
Lukaku led the attack admirably in his debut season at United. The Belgian will once again be the man to deliver the goods but he will need another player who can share the burden of scoring goals.
Marko Arnautovic (CF)
Starting alongside Lukaku in attack will be Arnautovic. The Austrian showcased his goal-scoring prowess at West Ham and could be the ideal player to start up front with the big Belgian.