Prior to the pre-season tour, Manchester United have signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica and look to complete the signing of Lukaku from Everton within the next 24 hours. United still need at least two more signings to be completely sure of a title challenge, so lets look ahead..
David de Gea, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world is set to remain at Manchester United, once again ignoring a move to Real Madrid. In front of him will be a back four of Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia – which possesses a variety of potential as well as experience. Shaw has reportedly impressed Jose Mourinho with his commitment to coming back stronger from his most recent injury and looks set to get another chance once fit. Reports suggested that the left-back is ready to realise his full potential. Lindelof and Bailly have the future in their hands at United and have the opportunity to create a formidable partnership that can rank amongst the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Lindelof in the Rio role as the ball-player and Bailly in the ‘destroyer’ role, reminiscent of the mighty Serb. Valencia is an obvious pick, especially after his fantastic 16/17 season – captaining United during the absence of Michael Carrick and Chris Smalling.
Manchester United’s midfield looks to be the biggest talking point in terms of potential suitors. Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive player ever, is one of the only midfielders to have cemented a place in the XI. There has been plenty of talk for the need of a recognised defensive-midfield to unlock Pogba from his limited role that he played in last season. Fabinho of AS Monaco would be the ideal option for this role, blending an array of techniques such as tackling with concentrated through balls. There have been recent reports that Ander Herrera has been named vice-captain for the upcoming season, meaning Mourinho still sees him as a vital part of the team. If true, we can expect to see him in a similar role to last season, utilised as a back-to-back midfielder. There is the possibility that he plays further forward in either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, sitting in front of Pogba if a no.10 is not signed. That brings us onto the biggest miss in United’s current midfield. The club are missing a no.10 that can unlock a defence with a single pass, something that’s been lacking for years and ends up with United resorting to constant crossing. James Rodriguez of Real Madrid is the perfect option.
The Colombian’s end product is second to none in world football and United are screaming out for his qualities. Andreas Pereira will also be given a chance to impress after his fantastic loan spell at Granada last season. Pereira can play as a 10, or sit back and pull the strings.
With the end of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s time at Manchester United, a big signing was needed to replace him. Romelu Lukaku ticks all the boxes to become a United player and the Premier League proven striker will not lack goals at Old Trafford. Lukaku possesses pure strength as well as blistering pace. Those two attributes alone can frighten any defence, especially with Paul Pogba feeding the 24 year old.
With Anthony Martial having a common second season syndrome problem, he can now prove all his doubters wrong and replicate an impressive 15/16 season, in which he bagged 17 goals in all competitions. But with the rumours of Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan) being a top target for United, he’ll still have to fight for his place. Martial still has the majority of his career ahead of him and if he can reduce his off-pitch drama and knuckle down on his football then it won’t just be Lukaku that United will be relying on in terms of goals. He’s already proved that he can do it in the toughest league in the world and he’s ready to silence the haters again. On the right it’ll most likely be Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian needs to have a big season and he’s got all the qualities to do just that. Mkhitaryan gave us a glimpse of some of his best football in the Europa League last season, and if he can replicate those performances into consistent league form then the likes of Lukaku will not be short of chances on goal. Mkhitaryan’s habit of drifting between a wing position and no.10 role causes problems for any team that he faces – the same can be said for Juan Mata who also plays a similar role. The talented Marcus Rashford is most likely going to be given a second string role for a consecutive season unless. Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of the 19 year old but it’s hard to see him get a prominent role for the 17/18 season.