Manchester United were on the back of one of their most unsuccessful seasons in the club’s history this summer.
Statement signings and backing from the board was crucial for fans to have any optimism heading into the 2022/2023 campaign.
The summer also saw Erik ten Hag’s first opportunity to bolster the squad left by Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, sides that were capable of a second-place league finish in 2020/2021 and a sixth-place finish in 2021/2022.
Despite falling out of favour more recently, Ten Hag does have five-time Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo at his disposal. Jadon Sancho is looking more lively and promising for the Reds and his English counterpart Marcus Rashford is fully fit and keen to cement his place in the starting eleven this season.
Best Manchester United Lineup After Transfer Window Slams Shut
New Signings for Manchester United
The first addition to United under Ten Hag’s reign was Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord. The Dutchman was acquired to provide depth and competition for the left-back position, a role that Luke Shaw has mostly occupied in recent years. Malacia is already proving to be a success on the pitch and with fans after three remarkable performances from three consecutive starts.
Christian Eriksen followed Malacia through the doors at Carrington and the 30-year-old is the exact kind of player the Manchester side have needed for a number of years. He is an experienced, Premier League proven figure who is able to dictate play from the midfield with his passing and ability to create attacks. The Dane plays a more reserved role in holding midfield, offering a different output from that of Bruno Fernandes, who operates a more attacking position.
Ten Hag again addressed two glaring weaknesses in the squad by signing two defensive figures; Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro. The latter will likely be deployed alongside Eriksen as a defensive midfielder, meaning the days of Scott McTominay and Fred, who never really looked like a solid pairing when alongside each other, are set to lessen significantly.
Martinez has looked outstanding when paired with World Cup winner Raphael Varane, so much so that he has demoted club captain Harry Maguire to the bench for three games and won United’s Player of the Month award for August – talk about instant impact.
Another clean sheet ⛔️ pic.twitter.com/2TOACStz82
— utdreport (@utdreport) September 1, 2022
Antony forced his former club Ajax into negotiating a deal with the Red Devils by refusing to train or play, as he was keen on reuniting with his former coach. The Brazilian is yet to make his debut for the club, but looks a promising addition to the squad with his skillful dribbling and exceptional attacking threat.
David de Gea also faces threat to his position in the starting eleven as United opted for a new backup goalkeeper to end the window, choosing Newcastle United’s Martin Dubravka.
Best Players Who Stayed at Manchester United
Despite actively seeking a new club for the majority of the summer, Ronaldo remained a United player, and whilst he has started the previous three games as a substitute, being able to bring on a five-time Champions League winner against tired defenders will only further help United’s bid for success.
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Anthony Martial departed Manchester to join Sevilla on loan in January after poor form and the likes of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani regularly taking the striker position led him to seek more game-time. The Frenchman was United’s most prolific player in pre-season and contributed an assist with some fine footwork when he was substituted on against Liverpool this season.
An achilles injury is currently keeping him out the squad, but he has looked a bright spark when he’s had his chance on the pitch so far since returning from Spain. Supporters will be hoping he can recreate his talent shown in the 2019/2020 season, when he scored 23 goals and assisted 12 across all competitions.
Best Manchester United Lineup
David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Antony, Anthony Martial.