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What is Manchester United’s best XI after seven signings in the transfer market?

by Vatsal Gupta


A transfer window that brought seven players to Old Trafford is finally over. This window can broadly be categorised into two parts- the clinical rebuild of the first team done early, with Andre Onana, Mason Mount, and Rasmus Hojlund. Then came the mad dash at deadline day to fill holes in the squad- with Sofyan Amrabat, Sergio Reguilon, Altay Bayindir, and Jonny Evans.

So, what is Manchester United’s best XI now after seven signings? Who plays in the first team when everyone is fit?

We take a look-

Goalkeeper- Andre Onana (Altay Bayindir)

The easiest decision to make. Onana has had a good start to his United career with some mixed moments but his playing style has already had a transformative effect on the team, especially in building from the back.

Expect him to go from strength to strength and become this window’s best signing.

New signing Altay Bayindir will take Dean Henderson’s role as the backup keeper.

Right-Back- Aaron wan-Bissaka (Diogo Dalot)

“Spider Wan” is now the undisputed first-choice at right-back after supplanting Diogo Dalot with a string of sterling performances. His attacking game is ever improving and combined with his already elite defence, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet now.

Right Centre-Back- Raphael Varane (Victor Lindelof)

The Frenchman is going to be managed carefully this season so expect Victor Lindelof to make many appearances this season. Hence the signing of Jonny Evans to add to the centre-back depth. However, when fit, he walks straight into the starting lineup with his calm presence.

Left Centre-Back- Lisandro Martinez (Jonny Evans)

Alongside Onana, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford, Martinez is arguably the name whose selection is guaranteed if he’s fit. The former Ajax man has taken to England like a duck to water. He is United’s best ball-carrier in defence, and his rugged style of defending has already made him a fan-favourite.

Jonny Evans might be preferred as his backup because of his left-footedness.

Left-Back- Luke Shaw (Malacia/Reguilon)

Shaw might be out till November, and with Tyrell Malacia also out, Sergio Reguilon’s signing was crucial, especially because Alvaro Fernandez was loaned out. However, when fit, there aren’t many full-backs better than Shaw in the league.

It will be interesting to see if Ten Hag persists with Dalot at left-back against Arsenal or if Reguilon is given his trial by fire.

Either way, United’s full-back depth looks safe now with Reguilon’s signing.

Defensive midfielder- Casemiro (Sofyan Amrabat)

Till Mason Mount is injured, Ten Hag might revert to 4-2-3-1 which means Amrabat will start alongside Casemiro. However, when everyone is fit, Amrabat will likely be Casemiro’s backup. The Brazilian is slowly returning to last season’s levels which promoted Ten Hag to call him “cement between the stones”.

This means Christian Eriksen can play the role of orchestrator in less physical games now, one which he is ideally suited for.

Central Midfield- Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount (Eriksen/Mainoo/McTominay)

Injury to Mount ended Ten Hag’s interesting experiment of having Mount and Fernandes as “free 8s” who contribute to both defence and attack.

He is likely to go back to it once Mount is fit but in the meantime, as said above, Amrabat will be a godsend as he combines Eriksen’s metronomic passing with Mount’s physicality and running.

Wingers- Marcus Rashford and Antony (Garnacho and Pellistri/Sancho)

If Rashford is fit, he starts, and deservedly so. The case is less clear-cut for Antony, but he clearly provides something that Ten Hag highly values. Of all the positions United strengthened in the market, wings wasn’t one of them.

The club is relying on the first-choice players to carry them through, with contributions coming from Garnacho, Pellistri, Sancho, and Amad, when he comes back.

Striker- Rasmus Hojlund (Martial)

Being United’s first-choice striker at 20 is both, a gamble, as well as a marker of the confidence club has in his abilities. United’s season will be made or broken by how quickly Hojlund settles into the squad. Not an ideal scenario, but one they find themselves in.

It remains to be seen how much Martial contributes but United might feel they missed a trick by not signing an experienced player to take some pressure off of Hojlund this season.

So, it is clear to see that the players bought in the “first phase” of the window are the undisputed starters. Of the “second phase” signings, Amrabat has the highest chance of cracking the first-team. If he does, United will have no problem making his move permanent.


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