Premier League Preview: Manchester United
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on August 6, 2016
The 16/17 Premier League season is just SEVEN DAYS AWAY and there are many reasons why Manchester United fans have to right to be incredibly excited. The new management structure in place at Old Trafford with the players they’ve brought in makes it feel like a whole new start for the fans and players alike so the whole club will be wanting to kick off the Mourinho Era with a bang. After somewhat disappointing seasons for the past 3 years after Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Jose Mourinho will be looking to turn Manchester United from top four contenders to title contenders once again and he seems more determined than ever after landing what is known to have been his dream job for years now. You can’t predict the drama that will unfold this season for Manchester United after what happened last term but one thing is for certain, it’s going to be a hell of a ride. so hold on tight!
Aims and Expectations for the 16/17 Season
Before Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, Manchester United had an impressive record of never finishing below 3rd place since the Premier League began however since then United have failed to finish above 4th place. I think it’s almost certain that Jose Mourinho is going to change that and it definitely wouldn’t suprise football fans in England if he was to deliver a Premier League title within the 3 years on his contract at Old Trafford. Jose probably hasn’t been given any targets by the board for his first season but any finish below the top four and questions will be asked however it’s likely that it wouldn’t cost him his job due to the scarcity of available top quality managers like himself. For me, I think Manchester United should be challenging for the Premier League title this season and a top three finish to begin the rebuilding process would be respected by fans everywhere however this squad certainly has the potential to go that step further and make it 21.
Summer Transfer Business
I strongly believe that many football fans would agree with me when I say that Manchester United have had the strongest transfer window so far. Bringing in promising centre-back Eric Bailly, advanced playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for just £55m is absolutely incredible business by the Reds and their CEO Ed Woodward after rather frustrating transfer periods in the past. With Paul Pogba also expected to arrive at United soon in what would be a world-record deal of £105 million there is also proof there that United have the bottle to spend big of key players they desperately need in the squad which has resulted in the Red Devils arguably having the strongest squad in the country. Only time will tell if these top quality players will shine at United and if it all works out I’m sure the impressive signings won’t stop now.
- David de Gea: This player sprung to mind instantly when I thought about key players in the Manchester United, I mean, why wouldn’t he? David de Gea has won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award at United for the past three seasons which it absolutely incredible considering a goalkeeper shouldn’t be winning one Player of the Year trophy for a club nevermind three in a row. As well as this, the Spaniard has won every Premier League Save of the Season award since it began and is now rightfully known as the best goalkeeper in the league. de Gea is a crucial part of the rebuilding job Jose Mourinho has on his hands at United and if anyone should be considered as a key players it’s 100% him.
- Chris Smalling: Smalling enjoyed his best season in a United shirt so far throughout the 15/16 season and was considered one of the top centre-backs in the league so he will be a crucial part of Mourinho’s back four in years to come. United are known to be interested in bringing an experienced centre-back into the squad before the window shuts however at the moment that’s looking unlikely and therefore it’s up to Chris Smalling to step up and be a leader at the back. It’s even more important that Smalling becomes a Vidic and Ferdinand type character under Jose Mourinho seen as though new signing Eric Bailly has only played 40 games of professional football and Phil Jones will need as much support as possible seen as though he’s returning after a long spell on the sidelines. Even though Smalling was playing at a high standard last season and helped United concede the joint least goals in the league, there was still evidently room for improvement and if he can improve on the small things holding him back there is no doubt he will be huge for the Red Devils this season.
- Paul Pogba: Okay I know Pogba hasn’t officially signed for Manchester United yet, however, the deal is all but done and it’s now 90% certain that the Frenchman will be controlling the United midfield this season. If being worth over £100 million isn’t enough to push a player to strive at a club then I don’t know what is, of course there will be pressure however we’ve all seen what Pogba is capable of and if he performs to half of that standard in England then he’s definitely going to be a key man in Mourinho’s plans in the near future. He can score goals, assist forwards, intercept challenging passes and spray pinpoint passes all over the field; Paul Pogba is the complete footballer and despite only being 23 years old he will definitely fit right into the Manchester United team and state his claim of being one of the best midfielders in the World. The quality he will bring to the team will also bring out the best in other midfielders in the squad such as Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera so his arrival means that Manchester United’s spine is two times as strong as it was last season.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 392 club career goals and won 11 league titles in his last 12 seasons so he’s obviously going to be a key player in any team. Despite being 34 years old, Manchester United’s signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for free could possibly be the signing of the summer because he’s showed no signs of dropping in form with age after scoring 50 goals last season. Despite playing in not the most challenging of leagues, Ligue 1, he still had to put the ball into the net and to do that 50 times is astonishing. Seen as though United’s top scorer last season didn’t even get over 20 goals in all competitions (Anthony Martial – 19), Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be looking to score at least 15 in the league alone and one thing is for sure, with him in the starting 11 Manchester United certainly won’t be hitting anymore goalscoring lows anytime soon.
2nd – One thing is for sure this season, Manchester United will not be fighting to stay in the top four this season because what they will be doing is challenging for the title instead. It might be a bit hasty to say this so early into Mourinho’s reign at United while taking charge of a vulnerable squad who haven’t hit the heights at all yet however the faces he has managed to bring in will definitely lift the whole squad and the fan base which is going to be key for the Reds this season. The team who I think will pip United to the post is Manchester City simply because I think they have a much more balanced squad however Pep Guardiola having no Premier League experience could potentially fire back at City and Mourinho’s team could always sneak into the top spot and make it title #21. For United to really hit top gear this season, however, the new players need to adapt to the league quickly and the underwhelming players of last season need to also quickly improve if this squad is to challenge for the Premier League once again.
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