Manchester United‘s start to the 2022/23 season could not have gone any worse.
Fans went into the new campaign with cautious optimism, but that has turned into doom and gloom in the space of just two matches.
United’s first outing of the new Premier League season saw them beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford by Brighton.
The Red Devils then followed up that dismal display by getting thrashed 4-0 at Brentford last Saturday.
Things look bleak in the red half of Manchester right now and the club’s lack of signings isn’t exactly helping matters.
So far, United have only managed to bring in Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen, while failing in their long-term pursuit of Barcelona‘s Frenkie de Jong.
That’s simply not enough, especially when talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is desperate to leave the club this summer to play Champions League football in his twilight years.
United need fresh faces and they need them badly. Thankfully for supporters, things seem to be moving in the right direction in that regard.
The Telegraph report the Red Devils are targeting five new signings before deadline day and if they somehow manage to get them all over the line, Ten Hag’s best starting XI would be quite impressive.
The five players Man Utd are targeting
At right-back, which is currently a problem position, United are looking into a £12.6 million deal for Borussia Dortmund‘s Thomas Meunier.
They’ve received encouragement in their £50 million move for Real Madrid veteran Casemiro and have finally made contact with the representatives of Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
In the forward department, United are attempting to bring in Christian Pulisic from Chelsea on loan, while also exploring a deal for Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
So what would Ten Hag’s best XI look like if – and it’s a big if – they manage to get all five transfers over the line? Well, here’s our answer to that question…
Man Utd’s potential 2022/23 best XI
The XI: David De Gea, Thomas Meunier, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Christian Pulisic
That’s a pretty decent XI, isn’t it? A new-look defence, a midfield trio that ticks every single box and a dynamic front three with bags of potential.
We’ve chosen to leave out Ronaldo due to the uncertainty over his future at United, while the likes of Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Fred and Marcus Rashford are simply not worthy of a place in the team.
Sure, it’s not an XI that screams ‘title challengers’, but it’s one that would almost certainly compete fiercely to finish in the top four.
If the same team that lined up against Brentford play the majority of the 2022/23 season together, a top half finish might not even be a given for United…