How would Manchester United line up under Erik ten Hag if all the transfer rumours came true?
With Erik Ten Hag at the helm of affairs, a lot of changes are expected to sweep Manchester United around when the summer falls. With a few serious discussions about Darwin Nunez and Frenkie de Jong already deluging the shores of transfer market, speculations have already started building around what can be the potential starting XI for the Devils when the new season arrives.
Even though, we are lightyears away from what can be a cataclysmic transfer window for Manchester, the towering persona that Erik ten Hag always has been, it is needless to say that we may soon witness a flurry of changes in playing personnel that may unfold at the Theatre of Dreams. Before the season kicks off, we will try and piece together the possible starting XI for Manchester United if the rumoured transfers turn out to be true.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
The Flying Spaniard is staying at the Old Trafford and in this entire era of doldrums and uncertainty, he has been the solitary beacon of hope for Manchester United. Known for his aquiline reflexes and some insane shot-stopping prowess, it is a no-brainer for ETH that dropping this man would spark a riot in the Sir Matt Busby Way.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Jurrien Timber, Luke Shaw
The English right-back didn’t really have a memorable season at the Old Trafford last year. However, he is a talented youngster and under the right supervision, he can make wonders happen. He is fast and exceptionally hardy in his tackles. He will need a decent backing up from the Dutch manager but if he gets that, he can very well be a mainstay for the right-back position.
Raphael Varane’s first season at Manchester United has been plagued by injuries that has somehow disrupted his tempo over and over again. However, given the sensational defender that the French stalwart is, it is just a matter of time before he totally shuffles his game.
Jurien Timber is just 20-years old and has already been creating ripples in the heart of Ajax. The Dutch defender mainly plays as a centre-back and is often touted as a ball of endless energy. Harry Maguire’s faltering presence has been the most major factor in United’s decline in the latest season and the United management will be expecting someone with a sturdy presence to do the knitting for them. Timber makes decent use of his burly physique and with his entire career ahead, Manchester can shape this youngster according to requisites of the outfit.
Luke Shaw has had difficulties in the recently concluded season and one can link that to the incessant sloppiness of Harry Maguire. Shaw could barely leave his territory to contribute to the attacks, an aspect of his game that basically defines him. Imagine, a marauding Shaw down the left with Sancho sprinkling his own brand of stardust can be an explosive combo for the opposition to contain.
Midfield: Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong, Bruno Fernandez
Jadon Sancho started his career on a slow note but would soon catch up with the Manchester United bandwagon with a goal against Villareal that would unlock his true potential. From being a drifter in the middle of the park to a marauding winger with purpose almost single-handedly challenging the Pool and the City defenders, Sancho’s maturity spoke louder than the critics’ assessment of him.
With ETH at the helm, it is needless to say that Donny is coming back to the Theatre of Dreams. Well, many term this as favouritism, but Ten Hag has very aptly used his options AT Ajax previously and known the young midfielder more than anyone else on this planet. Under his supervision the fallen star at Manchester can very well be the key to United’s endless midfield supply problems.
Frnkie de Jong is right at the top of Manchester’s target list and Ten Hag wants to ensure that he starts his summer at the Theatre of Dreams with a quality midfield pair in the form of De Jong and Donny. De Jong has exceptional dribbling skills and his eye for those brilliant forward passes makes him a perfect fit in the Manchester puzzle, especially with Ronaldo up front.
Bruno Fernandes will most likely be deployed on the right wing to cut back in and create those chances that he usually does. Now given his versatility, instead of him bombing down that wing, his onus would be to create those long balls for Ronaldo ahead or simply play the perfect combo with AWB when the team surges ahead.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo and Darwin Nunez
Ronaldo has already expressed his content to be with United for one more season and with ETH arriving to Old Trafford, he has made it clear that good times are ahead. If United’s midfield can actually live up to the billed expectations, Ronaldo can be a ticking bomb in the forward lines. If he gets the ball and even an inch of space ahead of him, he can literally put the opposition to the torch.
Even though is a lot of friction doing the rounds between Nunez and Manchester, yet it is believed that United will be making a splash for the Uruguayan forward. It won’t be easy for sure with Liverpool in hot pursuit but as mentioned earlier, this is a story where this eleven is based on the rumours coming true. Nunez is an absolute beast of a finisher and he can be the perfect man to sort out Manchester’s problems of profligacy up front. He has speed, he has muscle and more importantly he has nerves of steel.