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Selection Headache For Van Gaal: Who Should Lead The Manchester United Lineup

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Louis van Gaal

Manchester United’s return to the Champions League didn’t go as planned as they ended up losing 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven despite taking the lead. The Red Devils did dominate the game but failed to take their chances and ultimately paid for that. Wayne Rooney missed out the game as Anthony Martial started up front and his performance was good, the 19-year-old doesn’t look like a £36 million player yet, but he has shown glimpses of what he can do, Liverpool fans will certainly remember that.

Manchester United
Manchester United

The Manchester team now travel to St. Mary’s to take on a Southampton side which are in midtable and will be looking to avenge last seaosn’s defeat by the Red Devils. That time a double from Robin van Persie cancelled out Graziano Pelle’s strike, although it was the Saints who dominated the game. The talking point would revolve around who would be the striker for United, should it be the stalwart that is Wayne Rooney or should it be the new kid on the block, Anthony Martial?

Young and fast but ready to play day in and day out?

Martial was brought into the limelight even before he got onto the pitch for Manchester United thanks to the exuberant price tag, but it wasn’t the youngster’s fault for this. Martial did show what he is capable of in the game against Liverpool when he scored a goal which was eerily similar to one that Thierry Henry had scored against the same opponents a few years ago.

Thierry Henry Arsene Wenger
Thierry Henry

Comparisons between Martial and Henry were the talk of the town even before he signed for the club and that was something we saw in the last game for sure. Martial though couldn’t get onto the score sheet against PSV, he did pretty well, especially since it was his first proper start in a United shirt.

Martial started due to Wayne Rooney’s injury and the fact that the England striker has not scored all season could be a factor if Martial does get a chance to play against Southampton. Since the club will be away, it could also mean that a player with a wealth of experience starts and if Rooney is fit, he should get the chance to start and break his duck for the season.

Wayner Rooney is completely off-colour this season
Wayner Rooney is completely off-colour this season

Rooney is one of the best players in the league and cannot be kept on the bench if he is fit. All he needs is one good game and he will be back to his best, we saw that against England and that could be the way to go for the record-breaking striker in this game also. What we would love to see is how both the strikers get along, Rooney could play behind Martial or vice-versa, the dynamics of the partnership would be something to keep an eye on and maybe Louis van Gaal can give us that in the game against the Saints.