By Mark Weasley
The target next season must surely be to win the title back off City. The United hierarchy have stood by Jose Mourinho, but he knows he will come under more pressure should we see a repeat of last season: no trophies and failure to seriously challenge for top honours, despite finishing second.
Improvement is essential. We have signed Fred and Diogo Dalot already, but more signings are needed if we are to become a European force: here are 11 players who could lead United to glory next season.
Spanish goalie, David De Gea is arguably the best shotstopper in club football and fans would be hoping that he replicates the performances of last term. He won the Golden Glove last term with 17 Premier League clean sheets and as long as he stays, as looks likely, is guaranteed to retain his place.
The backline doesn’t seem to be a problem and the first choice defenders are expected to still remain in the fray. New signing, Diogo Dalot will be eased slowly into the team with Antonio Valencia still number one right-back. If Eric Bailly can stay fit he could have a huge influence and form a strong long-term centre-back partnership with Victor Lindelof, who had one or two shaky moments last term but should adjust to the intensity of English football in his second season. The Swede is more effective in possession than the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, which is a massive factor given that we will face defensive opposition most weeks.
Ashley Young could still be the first choice left-back unless Mourinho signs another player in that department; the ex-Villa man is a solid professional but a quick, left-footed alternative wouldn’t go amiss.
A central midfield trident of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Fred is likely. Matic will add brawn and solidity in the anchor man role while Fred adds mobility and industry. We know Paul Pogba has exceptional ability and with more forward-thinking players around him, should finally hit the expected heights.
With United expected to go all out for Gareth Bale, our attack should be blazing hot. Bale is interested in a move back to the Premier League and will add stardust to our attack alongside Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku. Sanchez struggled after his move in January and needs an excellent second season to justify his wages.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Young, Fred, Matic, Pogba, Bale, Sanchez, Lukaku