Jose Mourinho knows this season will determine his future at the club.
He failed to deliver a trophy last season; and here, a trophy-less campaign cannot be considered a success.
The 55-year-old did at least lead us to a second placed finish in the league, which is the best we have managed since winning the title in 2012-13, Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge.
Wholesale changes are therefore not expected but few can deny that more depth is required if we are to compete on multiple fronts. We take a look at United’s potential starting eleven come the start of the season.
The fact that Manchester United goalkeeper, David De Gea had a below par performance at the World Cup with Spain could be good news for us; given that Real Madrid have turned their attentions to Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois. De Gea is still the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and remains the only consistently world-class player we have had since Fergie left.
New right-back Diogo Dalot is highly rated by Mourinho and Antonio Valencia finished last season below his usual standards, but we reckon the long-serving Ecuadorian might just keep his place; especially if he is named team captain.
Left-back Luke Shaw has ground to make up at Old Trafford but the former Southampton academy graduate has shed the weight during the holidays and is looking in good condition; given that Ashley Young cannot be considered more than a temporary left-back option, there could be an opportunity for Shaw.
With the club yet to bring in a centre-back this summer, the partnership of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof could return; Lindelof impressed at the World Cup with Sweden while Bailly still remains United’s best central defender when fit.
The addition of Fred has seen United add a mobile midfielder that could drift from box to box leaving, Paul Pogba to be the link between defence and attack. The France international is having a wonderful World Cup and would be looking to kick on from last season. Completing the midfield trident should be Nemanja Matic; the Serbian powerhouse had a massive impact here last season and will be hoping to continue in the same vein.
According to Mirror Sport, United are in advanced talks for Ivan Perisic. The Inter Milan player was close to joining us last summer though a move failed to materialize. He should get to play from the left. On the right hand side of attacking midfield, Alexis Sanchez is shoe-in for that while upfront, the bulking presence of Romelu Lukaku is a threat to any defence.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw, Fred, Matic, Pogba, Perisic, Sanchez, Lukaku.