With Louis van Gaal standing by his original intention to leave Manchester United after three seasons in charge of the club, just how will the United side look at the end of his spell in charge of the club?
Article written by Dean Carr of Sbat.com
In goal, it’s difficult to see David de Gea remaining at the club beyond the summer of 2017, given his contract at United includes a £30m buyout clause – a fee Real Madrid are unlikely to baulk at with the megabucks at their disposal. The likes of Hugo Lloris and Jack Butland have been touted as potential replacements for the Spaniard, who it seems has his heart set on a return to his hometown of Madrid. Academy product Sam Johnstone is highly regarded at the club and could be another name to stake his claim at becoming United’s number one.
Matteo Darmian has made a solid start to life at Old Trafford, and at the age of just 25, looks set to United’s first choice right-back for at least the next five years. However, in reserve there aren’t too many options to currently choose from, with Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young converted wingers in the role, it may be an area van Gaal’s successor targets to add depth.
Chris Smalling is beginning to establish himself as United’s first choice centre-half this season, having put in a number of impressive and dominant displays at the back for his side this season, and establishing himself as United’s third captain. Alongside him United have had long-term plans for both he and Phil Jones to be their centre-back pairing for the future and they have finally begun to show signs they are realising their potential as a partnership.
Luke Shaw will be United’s first choice left-back for at least a decade and is one of the most promising young footballers in Europe. It will be interesting to see how he recovers from his broken leg, but if he is able to come anywhere near close to discovering his undoubted potential he could easily become the top player in his position in world football. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made his debut for United during his side’s win over West Brom and will hope to have established himself as a first-team player in the coming years.
With Michael Carrick likely to have departed United by 2017 and Bastian Schweinsteiger reaching the age of 33, the door appears to be open for a central midfielder to partner Morgan Schneiderlin in the engine room. Ilkay Gundogan has been linked with a move to Manchester for a number of years and may decide to make the move to Old Trafford if the opportunity comes along.
Gareth Bale has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford after suffering a difficult spell in recent times at the Bernabeu for Real Madrid. A move to United would see the shackles loosened slightly off his shoulders and put in the type of performances we are seeing for his country on a regular basis, and reports suggest if Florentino Perez isn’t re-elected as Madrid President, Bale will be sold. Southampton’s Sadio Mane has also been linked with a move to join the Red Devils in recent years, whilst Juan Mata currently occupies the right midfield role for United.
Memphis Depay, despite having mixed success in the Premier League so far, looks to be the future of Manchester United and will play a big role in the club’s fortunes over the next few years. Jesse Lingard is starting to show his ability on United’s left hand side and could develop into a first team player over the next few seasons, if he is able to maintain his current performance levels. Adnan Januzaj is another name who despite being out on loan at Borussia Dortmund could have a big future at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial is another player signed who looks set to play a significant role in United’s future in attack, and will eventually develop into an out and out number nine, rather than playing on the left wing as he currently does on occasion. Wayne Rooney will be 32 come 2017, and may not be such a regular starter by that time, with Harry Kane reportedly on United’s radar in the coming years.
This year could be the year but with all the promise in the team the future looks bright. My football tip for the future is that United will win the league either this year or next year.