Manchester United Likely Line Up For Next Season – Including Otamendi

For some fans of the Red Devils, the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson brought about the end of Manchester United as they knew it. Having joined the legions of United faithful in an era when the club was so accustomed to glory that second in the league was akin to failure , the two seasons that followed , first the disaster under Moyes , second a scrambled resurrection under Van Gaal , were like a dose of reality that there are things such as being out of Europe.

However, the club have seemingly learnt the lesson from the Moyes debacle , and for the second season running , are backing Louis Van Gaal to the hilt , who looks to assemble a squad fit to mount a credible challenge for the Premier League title.

With several arrivals and exits set to be confirmed this week , Manchester United’s squad is finally beginning to take shape. Here we take a look at the probable lineup that Van Gaal is likely to field come the opening weekend fixture against Tottenham Hotspur.

Goalkeeper : Victor Valdes

With David De Gea’s long mooted move to Real Madrid now a certainty following Iker Casillas’ departure, expect the young Spaniard to pack his bags and leave for his native Spain. Ironically, replacing him in goal will be a player who is De Gea’s compatriot and Casillas’ contemporary. While United have been linked with replacements like Fernando Muslera and Jan Oblak, any new keeper will need time to settle in the demands of such a fiercely competitive league.

Right full-back : Matteo Darmian

A no-brainer, considering the superb season he had with Torino last term , and the promise he holds. The 25-year-old Italian International is an upgrade over Rafael Da Silva , who looks set to depart Old Trafford this summer. Provided nothing extraordinary happens , expect him to keep his place initially

Left full-back : Luke Shaw

The full back endured an underwhelming debut season for United last time out , and will be hoping for a fresh start this time out. The talent is clearly there, but has , on occasions, appeared undermined by Van Gaal’s caution first approach.

Centre-backs : Nicolas Otamendi & Phil Jones

With Phil Jones signing an extension earlier in the summer, Van Gaal has clearly shown that he values the versatile player as a future lynchpin of the club’s defence. Barring any fitness issues, Jones is a certainty to keep his place against Spurs

However, his partner Chris Smalling is not so lucky. With United persistently linked with both Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi , expect the Red Devils to sign at least one, with the Valencia center back the more likely option. Expect the new arrival to make his premier league bow at the start of the season.

Defensive midfield : Morgan Schneiderlin

Another no-brainer actually. You don’t splash £24 million on a player to put him on the bench straight away. He will be expected to provide the steel and solidity that was missing last term.

Defensive midfield : Bastian Schweinsteiger

However good a player Michael Carrick has been over the years, he will be the first to acknowledge that he does not belong in the league of the German Captain and world cup winner. One of the best in the game in the last decade and a bonafine Bavarian legend, Schweinsteiger struts majestically into Michael Carrick’s role in the team starting next season.

Midfielder : Ander Herrera

The Spaniard keeps his place ahead of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini owing to his guile and creativity on the ball. Though he may have to relinquish the position later in the season to accommodate Rooney and the other top striker mooted to come in, expect this diminutive midfielder to take to the field against Spurs.

Wide forwards : Ashley Young & Memphis Depay

Ashley Young resurrecting his Manchester United career was one of the stories of last season. He experienced something of a renaissance under Van Gaal and after a couple of indifferent seasons, was back to his best and was a major factor in United pipping rivals to the final Champions League qualification spot.

Partnering him on the other wing will be the highly rated Dutch prodigy Memphis Depay. He became United’s first signing this summer after joining from PSV, and if reviews from the Eredivisie are anything to go by, United may have just unearthed a gem. Will slot straight away into the wide forward position.

Striker : Wayne Rooney

Though United should hopefully have secured another world class striker by the time Spurs come calling, expect Van Gaal to introduce his newest acquisition slowly to the highly demanding Premier League, rather than flinging him straight away into the face of battle. That should see Wayne Rooney leading the attack from the front.