After a lack of backing from the board, can Solskjaer patch up the squad with the youth in typical Man Utd fashion?
Many Man Utd fans would agree that their youth academy is one of the last aspects of the club they can be proud of.
This pre-season, we have seen the likes of Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Mason Greenwood but heavily introduced into first-team football. And have by far been the most exciting thing about the club in recent years.
After the transfer window deadline day, Man Utd have been left with a very imbalanced team. The defence looks like the best in the league, whilst without Paul Pogba, their midfield is one of the worst. Attacking options are sparse as Solskjaer expects to achieve top four without any proven goalscorers after losing Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Pre-season has taught us that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s high pressing and high-intensity football is too much for certain players, such as Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young. Despite being gifted footballers, their lethargic approach let the team down on many occasions. Juan Mata can still offer quality in the final third but is far too slow to keep up with the “Ole ball” style for 30/40 games a season.
What should this Man Utd squad look like on a weekly basis?
It is a fair assessment to assume that Solskjaer wants and needs experience in his side. But in due time, the criticism directed at certain players will become clear to the management, if it hasn’t already. Man Utd could set out with a very, very young squad. That would look a little something like this…
Despite having an average age of under 23 years old, this is one of Man Utd’s strongest squads. Assuming that the Red’s won’t be changing their approach to the sport mid-season.
Mason Greenwood is an important addition, being likened at Robin Van Persie at only 17 years old. He could add at least 10 Premier League goals with a full season. Rashford and Martial should be aiming for a minimum of 15 each.
Angel Gomes is almost like-for-like Juan Mata. Fantastic with his feet and his football brain, what he lacks in experience he makes up for in quality.
This leaves Man Utd’s two best midfielders to run the park. Pogba and McTominay. After no midfield signings were made for the club this summer.
Daniel James can be introduced into any of the front four positions, injecting great athleticism and speed into the team.
Should this starting 11 be frequent this season, and be in full throttle, Man Utd can break the top four. However, with Man Utd’s best squad being very young and Man Utd’s most experienced squad being very bad, there could easily be a few bumps in the road.