The Strongest Possible Manchester United Starting XI That Could Play This Season

After a disappointing seventh place finish in the Premier League, Manchester United have splashed the cash in a bid to get back into the Champions League. The club have broken the British transfer record and not only that, they have also spent more than all the clubs in Ligue 1 combined. Although the season hasn’t gotten off to the greatest of starts, the players are just getting used to the new style of play and it is only a matter of time before they come good and start racking up the wins. Although they have adequate defensive reinforcements now, it is in attack that they have the problem of plenty. So, Van Gaal has some tough decisions to make, when it comes to picking his starting XI. Here is the strongest XI that Manchester United could play this season, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t contain Robin Van Persie or Juan Mata.

Louis Van Gaal
Louis Van Gaal

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper:

David De Gea

If there is one area of the pitch in which there is little or no competition that is for the goalkeeping slot. David De Gea is the undoubted No.1 and has time and again proven that he has what it takes to be in between the sticks for foreseeable future. The Spaniard is on his way towards being the No.1 for Spain as well and that is no surprise given his shot-stopping ability, reflexes and distribution.

Defenders:

Right Back: Rafael

While it is true that Rafael can be hot-headed at times and jump into tackles when he shouldn’t, the Brazilian has the potential to establish himself in the first-team permanently if given a continuous run of games. Quick, athletic and possessing an uncanny ability to get forward and help in attack, the 24-year-old should be a no-brainer for the right back spot, if he is fit.

Centre Back: Phil Jones

One of the few players in the squad, who can come out of the opening three games with some sort of credit, Phil Jones has already demonstrated that he is the club’s No.1 defender at the moment. Fearless in the tackle, quick, strong and good in the air, Jones has finally showcased the potential that Sir Alex Ferguson saw, when he signed him.

Centre Back: Marcos Rojo

With his work permit finally sorted, the Argentine centre back is set to make his Manchester United debut against QPR on Sunday. With his addition, the club finally have a natural left-sided centre back, who is adept at not just defending but also going forward as well. Rojo’s distribution, tenacity and never-give-up attitude is something that will endear him to the Manchester United faithful.

Left Back: Luke Shaw

Although he hasn’t played a single competitive game for Manchester United as yet, over the past couple of seasons, Luke Shaw has shown why he is regarded as the future of the English defense. Shaw’s pace and crossing ability coupled with his positional awareness and defensive discipline make him the ideal full back, who can defend and attack as and when the situation demands.

Midfield:

Central Midfield: Daley Blind

Although it was Falcao that made all the headlines on deadline day, Daley Blind might just onto prove to be more influential as the season wears on. The versatile Dutch defender who can play in defense and in midfield is likely to play as one of the two central midfielders taking a more defensive role. The Dutchman’s composure and technical ability means that he is not just solid defensively but can also pick a pass offensively and keep the game moving.

Central Midfield: Ander Herrera

If there was one player that Manchester United have needed for quite some time, it is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder who can create and score goals, while at the same time can contribute in defense. In this regard, Herrera is a perfect fit as the Spaniard is renowned for his ability on the ball and his industry off it. It won’t take him long to win the fans over with the tenacity, passion and commitment he displays on the pitch.

Central Attacking Midfield: Wayne Rooney

Although Mata has been playing as the main attacking midfielder so far, the arrival of Falcao and Di Maria coupled with Rooney’s status as club captain means that the Spaniard is likely to be the fall guy in attack. Rooney looks set to take his place and the Englishman will relish playing in the No.10 role that would make him the main orchestrator of the attack..

Right Wing: Angel Di Maria

Arguably the side’s most creative player will occupy the flank that has been the side’s least productive over the past few years. Angel Di Maria will relish playing on the right flank, where he has the option of going down the flank or cutting in and creating goal scoring opportunities for himself or his team-mates. The Argentine will add plenty of pace and penetration to the wings and has not only the ability to pick out a precise pass, but also the agility and acceleration to leave defenders in the shade.

Left Wing: Adnan Januzaj

Last season was one that saw United struggle on the wings, but one bright spot was the emergence of Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian teenager looks set to get more game-time this around and will relish the opportunity to run at defenders and create havoc in the opposition defense. Januzaj’s blistering pace, acceleration and ability to glide past defenders means that the Red Devils might have finally found a worthy successor to Ryan Giggs.

Striker:

Centre Forward: Radamel Falcao

The Colombian who is just returning from an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup will give the side something they haven’t had for a while now- pace, power and a presence up front. Falcao can hold up play, bring his team-mates into the game and when inside the box, there are few better finishers than the goal-hungry Colombian. Expect him to click instantly, particularly given the assistance he is likely to get, so don’t be surprised if he gets to 20 League goals this season.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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