Manchester United have got their summer transfer window off to a sensational start with the signing of Jadon Sancho.
Following one of the most lengthy transfer sagas in Premier League history, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed on Thursday that Sancho will move to Old Trafford for £73.1m.
That announcement arrived on a day in which ESPN reported that United are stepping up their pursuit of Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, with a fee in the region of €50m (£43m) thought to be enough to prise the France international away from the Spanish capital.
The mooted double swoop is understandably raising expectation and excitement amongst United fans ahead of the new season.
With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT have put together four different potential starting XIs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could select next season which include both Varane and Sancho.
Each XI has takes on a different theme and aims to incorporate a broad range of players from the United squad.
Let’s take a look below:
United have historically taken pride in their development of youth and in this XI we’ve aimed to wedge in as many talented youngsters as possible.
Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe step into the defence to replace the experience of Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, while Dean Henderson dons the gloves instead of David de Gea.
James Garner is the most inexperienced player in the side in central midfield and Marcus Rashford joins Sancho and Mason Greenwood to form an exuberant triumvirate which is stacked with first-class potential.
Solskjaer is lacking the wing-backs required to utilise a 3-5-2 system, but perhaps Scott McTominay could provide the energy and dynamism to perform a job at right-wing-back.
Central midfielders and full-backs generally possess very similar skillsets and, though he is largely untested in that position, the Scotland international looks far more suited to that role than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who slots into centre-back a la Kyle Walker and Cesar Azpilicueta as part of this experimental line-up.
Sancho is capable of excelling in a multitude of attacking positions and he forms a frightening partnership with Marcus Rashford at centre-forward.
Now, it’s unlikely Solskjaer will ever opt to select such an attack-minded XI from the outset but he could turn to this system when his side are searching for a late equaliser or winner.
Returning to a more traditional 4-4-2 system, United would go gung-ho here with almost no protection for the back-four in midfield.
Sancho and Rashford would be operating from the flanks to form an aggressive 4-2-4 formation in possession of the ball.
Taking Varane and Sancho’s reported arrivals into consideration with United’s current roster of players, this is what we think Solskjaer’s best XI would be next season.
The midfield trio of McTominay, Pogba and Fernandes provides an ideal blend of solidity, creativity and goal scoring prowess to supplement a devastating front-three with Cavani at the spearhead of the attack.
Perhaps United could finally mount a genuine title challenge with this starting line-up next season.