Manchester United are expected to challenge for the Premier League crown this season after spending big in the summer transfer market. Expenditure was limited last year but after finishing second and reaching the final of the Europa League, an improvement is paramount.
Last season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer selected a bunch of players he could trust to win a match for him. United made a habit out of coming back from behind but usually, it was the same 11-14 players each time.
This was further confirmed in that final loss to Villarreal when the only substitutions came with a penalty shootout in mind. Donny van de Beek, who had featured regularly in the tournament leading up to the final, was an unused substitute.
Solskjaer will need to make use of his squad if he wants to challenge for the top honors and passengers in the team won’t aid his push for a 21st league title.
As he attempts to extend United’s promising start in the Premier League, Stretty News takes a look at three players in danger of being axed by the Norwegian this season.
The 25-year-old endured a frustrating season last year after ending the 2019/20 campaign as the clubs’ player of the season. Martial scored just four goals in the league and despite starting one game this season, looks to be on the periphery of the United side.
The arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo won’t have helped Martial’s chances of breaking back into the side and the Frenchman is likely to be a casualty next summer, perhaps even in January.
Donny van de Beek
Following a supposed push from Everton, the Dutchman’s agent was disappointed to not have engineered a move away from Old Trafford this summer for his client.
Van de Beek made his first Premier League appearance of the season last week despite being fit for all of United’s games and he was hauled off at half-time in their loss to Young Boys earlier this week. Although he might not admit it, Solskjaer is clearly not Van de Beek’s biggest fan and a move would suit all parties.
Perhaps a surprise inclusion in this list, Wan-Bissaka finally has some competition to fend off if he is to keep his place at the right side of defence. Diogo Dalot’s impressive loan at AC Milan has earned him renewed confidence with Solskjaer and the Portugal international is reportedly ‘confident’ of ousting Wan-Bissaka.
Wan-Bissaka is in his third season at the club for the majority of his time at Old Trafford, he has been impressive. He makes up for his lack of attacking output with defensive actions but at times, he can be frustrating.
Dalot offers far more in the final third and could be an option in games where United are expected to dominate. Should he impress, a permanent fixture in Solskjaer’s starting eleven is far from impossible.
United’s pursuit of Kieran Trippier this summer points towards Solskjaer’s desire to improve his right flank. Jadon Sancho was added early in the summer and Trippier was linked with a move to the club as late as on deadline day.
Only time will tell whether Solskjaer is ready to pull the plug on Wan-Bissaka, who until now, remains the clear first choice. That could, however, change sooner rather than later.