Football

Manchester United XI: 2013/14

Manchester United boss Moyes has key decisions to make  (©GettyImages)
Manchester United boss Moyes has key decisions to make (©GettyImages).

The new football season is almost upon us, and as always transfer rumours are constantly streaming in. 

However, should United not be able to secure a new signing before the first game of the season, who would make it into David Moyes' team?

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

De Gea showed great improvement and maturity in his second season at the club and has grown into arguably the best shot-stopper in the world. 

Voted into the Premier League team of the season in 2012/13, De Gea was instrumental in United winning their 13th Premier League title.

At just 22, De Gea could potentially be United’s first choice keeper for the next decade and beyond, as long as United can keep hold of the player reportedly coveted by Barcelona.

Right-back: Rafael

Rafael has matured into one of the best full-backs in the country over the last couple of years and fully deserves to be first choice right-back. 

Equally effective in defence or attack, Rafael appears to have ironed out the petulance that so often undermined his early career at United. 

Another young player, at the age of 23, Rafael also has the potential to be a stalwart of United’s defence for years to come.

Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand enjoyed arguably the finest season of his Old Trafford career in 2012/13 and despite being almost 35 years of age is still among the best defenders in the league. 

Where previously pace was a key asset of Ferdinand's game - his tactical nous and reading of the game now mark him as a great defender and first choice for United for at least one more season.

Centre-back: Nemanja Vidic

Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have improved hugely over the last couple of years, but Vidic’s presence and aerial ability is still unmatched despite an injury-hit couple of years. 

At nearly 32, his time as first choice, like Ferdinand, is nearly over, but Vidic is still one of the best in the league when fit and his partnership with Ferdinand is among the great partnerships in Premier League history.

Left-back: Patrice Evra

Manchester United have a well publicised desire to bring Leighton Baines to Old Trafford, but at present Patrice Evra is first choice and will be through the next season. 

At 32, Evra has potentially two more years at the highest level and despite his powers seeming to have waned over the last season, promoting Fabio or Buttner would be unwise as they have not shown enough ability to be first choice left-back.

Centre-midfield: Michael Carrick

Carrick enjoyed his finest season for Manchester United last term, providing the creativity and defensive solidarity upon which United’s title-winning campaign was based. 

At nearly 32, Carrick still has at least two years left as Manchester United’s first choice central midfielder, and United will be hoping he can replicate the form of last season.

Centre-midfield: Tom Cleverley

The biggest problem facing Moyes is who partners Carrick in United's engine room, but Cleverley appears best qualified to fill this position. 

Anderson is of nowhere near the quality required in any department, with poor defensive abilities, passing and diabolical shooting skills. 

Kagawa appears destined to fill a more central role in the future but not as a deep-lying midfielder as required here. 

Cleverley has some potential and will be given a chance to make the position his own in the forthcoming season.

Right wing: Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa was used to operating in a more central position when he first joined Manchester United; he adapted well to his new role after a few months of injury and poor form and even scored a hat-trick against Norwich City. 

His future may well lie in the centre, but for this season he will be allowed to continue adapting to the Premier League and try to have a creative influence from the right flank.

Withdrawn striker: Wayne Rooney

Rooney may have been overshadowed by Robin van Persie last season, but he still has a pivotal creative role to play for Manchester United. 

United fans will be hoping he can produce his best form, even if operating in the withdrawn striker’s role is not to his taste.

Left wing: Danny Welbeck

Although Welbeck would prefer to operate as a central striker, United’s depth in that department means Welbeck could well be asked to continue his role on the left into the next season. 

Welbeck had some excellent performances last season, notably against Real Madrid, and will hope to continue to do so and push for a more central starting position.

Striker: Robin van Persie

Van Persie had a phenomenal first season at Manchester United, scoring 26 league goals to propel United to a remarkable 13th title. 

Despite being 29-years-old, Van Persie has to rank as one of Ferguson’s best ever signings even at £24million. 

Van Persie will continue to lead the line for United next season and will only improve having been at the club for a year now.

Overall, United will be happy with the squad they have and this team would certainly be a challenger for major honours. 

However, United will be looking to add at least one central midfielder and possibly replace Evra - to freshen up and strengthen the squad over the summer. 

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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