The Daily Star has put together a possible Manchester United starting lineup under Louis van Gaal for next season, but there was no place for captain Wayne Rooney.
Rooney has been heavily criticized for his lack of goals this period, but most football pundits would tell you that the England skipper isn’t to be blamed for his below par season — tearing apart the system of Van Gaal which has been viewed as negative.
Nevertheless, on current performance and with the Dutchman projected to return for another campaign, you could see why the UK newspaper left the club’s leading goalscorer out of its possible starting XI for next year.
So who are they backing to make the starting lineup, especially to lead the attack with Rooney not being considered?
Are there any new players coming in during the summer transfer window?
Since I finished in the attacking line, I might as well pick up from there, or should I?
I will just do it the way we are accustomed to.
David de Gea is listed as the possible starting goalkeeper for next season, so I am assuming Manchester United will fend off any approach from Real Madrid for the Spanish international because we all know the La Liga side will come back for their target man next summer.
Luke Shaw will be healthy again from his broken leg and the England youngster, without a doubt, will return to play at left-back, which means the likes of Marco Rojo and Daley Blind will need to tussle for other positions.
He has been hot and cold so far this season, but Matteo Darmian will most likely be the starting right-back next year, but the newspaper has made an adjustment at centre-half.
Chris Smalling has been outstanding this season for the Red Devils, but despite their strong defensive record on the term, another quality centre-back is needed, and Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi is the man who has been slotted next to Smalling for the future.
I am not sure, though, Manchester United icon Gary Neville, who was recently named the new manager of Valencia CF, would entertain losing his best defender.
Van Gaal could build the team around Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin, who is expected to finally glue himself into the starting lineup permanently come next season, and German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger is currently getting ahead of Michael Carrick to partner Schneiderlin.
It’s now time for the fun part, as I take a look at who are the players being backed to feature in the attack.
Because of his pace and ability to trick defenders, Anthony Martial is the possible starter on the left, even though he looks better playing through the middle this season.
Juan Mata will continue his duty on the right, according to the Daily Star future look, which also predicts two new attacking players, in Cristiano Ronaldo current EPL leading scorer this season, Jamie Vardy.
Ronaldo has been strongly linked with a move away from Real Madrid at the end of the season, and the Portugal international could very well make a return to Old Trafford.
Vardy, who recently broke the record for scoring in successive games in the EPL against Manchester United, has also been linked to Van Gaal’s side and he could very well be on his way to the Red Devils in the summer.
But what if Leicester City hold its current form and win the Premier League this season, would he still consider making a move?
Daily Star Picks “Possible” Manchester United XI For Next Season
GK: David de Gea
CB: Chris Smalling
CB: Shkodran Mustafi
LB: Luke Shaw
RB: Matteo Darmian
CM: Morgan Schneiderlin
CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
LM: Anthony Martial
RM: Juan Mata
CAM: Cristiano Ronaldo
CF: Jamie Vardy