By Mark Weasley
By Mark Weasley
Manchester United are back in Manchester after a grueling pre-season schedule in which the 20-time English champions played against the best teams from around Europe.
The Jose Mourinho tutored side finished the US tour with 4 wins and a solitary loss against Barcelona. United have signed Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku and the duo are expected to feature for the Old Trafford outfit in great measure next season.
The Red Devils are in the market for a defensive midfielder and a winger and are still looking at deals for Nemanja Matic and Ivan Perisic, though the deal for the latter is more likely to go through. We take a look at United’s potential starting eleven for 2017/18.
David de Gea is expected to stay at The Theatre of Dreams after United look to have fought off competition from Real Madrid to sign him. He is one of the best players in the world in that department and barring any injuries should be first choice.
Summer arrival, Lindelof has looked shaky since arriving and is running out of time to prove his quality to Mourinho. He should overcome his inner demons, and get to partner the Ivorian, Eric Bailly who impressed last season following his arrival from Villarreal.
At right back, Antonio Valencia is king while Daley Blind should have the honour on the left side of defence as Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo remain injured.
Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera should form a defensive midfield pivot with the Frenchman’s brawn and technical grace complemented by Herrera’s tough-tackling and determination.
In attacking midfield, Mourinho remains spoilt for choice but a trio of Rashford, Perisic and Mkhitaryan should be regular starters while Mata, Lingard and Martial should be options from the bench, and with four competitions on offer, everyone will get a chance to play.
Perisic is expected to still sign for the Old Trafford outfit despite United failing to reach an agreement with his club, Inter Milan. The three starters are all nimble footballers, but have added defensive solidity to their game that is sure to impress Mourinho.
£75m striker, Romelu Lukaku is the undisputed first choice going into next season and is sure to bang in the goals once he gets running. He is fast, can shoot and is a fierce competitor and should guarantee at least 25 goals in all competitions.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Blind, Pogba, Herrera, Perisic, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku