With the start of the new Premier League season looming large, questions are being asked over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team selection already. The Norwegian boss will welcome Leeds to Old Trafford in less than four weeks and could give Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane their debuts.
Sancho’s move from Borussia Dortmund was made official last week and an agreement to sign Raphael Varane has also been announced, although completion of the transfer is subject to a medical.
Manchester United have also been linked with a move for Wolverhampton’s Ruben Neves, who could leave the club this summer after four years with Wolves.
The goalkeeping conundrum is set to continue for Solskjaer, although David de Gea seems to be the favourite to start the opening game against Leeds. Dean Henderson is yet to feature in pre-season and the curtain-raiser on August 14 might come too early for the 24-year-old.
Three of the four players in the backline are set in stone. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw will all start the encounter if they’re fit. Raphael Varane could make his Manchester United debut if the transfer from Real Madrid is completed in time. The 28-year-old has been in training for longer than Victor Lindelof, which could work in his favour.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be keen to switch the system up at United this season, with the potential signing of a defensive midfielder allowing the manager to field a more attack-minded midfield, rather than two defensive midfielders in Fred and Scott McTominay.
As mentioned above, links to Neves are becoming more and more prominent and although a deal is unlikely before the game against Leeds, the Portugal international would offer Solskjaer the midfield security he craves. In that case, two attacking midfielders are likely to roam in front of the midfield anchor. Bruno Fernandes is a given and amid the uncertainty surrounding Paul Pogba’s future, Donny van de Beek could be given a starting role in this campaign.
Marcus Rashford will miss the first three months of the season with a shoulder injury, with Jadon Sancho expected to replace him on the left wing for the first game. Should Edinson Cavani be deemed fit enough, it’s likely he will start as a lone striker, with Mason Greenwood on the right side.
Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Neves, Van de Beek, Fernandes; Greenwood, Sancho, Cavani