Manchester United may have had a shaky start to the season but there remains plenty of room for optimism. A youthful squad showed significant signs of improvement at the end of last season and have a great deal of time to recover from the opening day loss to Crystal Palace. We’ve picked out three players in particular who could make the difference for United this season and make huge strides in their development as the season progresses.
Greenwood had an incredible break-through season in 2019/20 with 10 goals and an assist in 31 appearances (a huge amount of them coming off the bench). At just 18 years, Greenwood has almost limitless potential and the experience gained last season promises to serve as a platform for him to reach even greater heights next season. He perhaps represents a strong outside bet in the football odds at 50/1 to claim the Premier League Golden Boot this season.
Indeed, Solskjaer has described the player as one of the best finishers he has ever seen and he certainly appears to be more naturally clinical than his attacking counterparts Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Greenwood will aim to usurp the pair up front this season and claim the central striking role for himself.
Donny van de Beek
A stand-out summer signing from Ajax, Donny van de Beek exploded onto the Champions League stage with a series of mercurial performances which helped the Dutch side to an incredible run to the semi-finals. The £40 million signing could provide United with the creative invention and spark which has been sorely lacking from the team in recent times.
His presence in a midfield three with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba is a mouth-watering prospect for the Manchester United faithful and his debut goal against Palace suggests he will settle quickly. Although he may not represent the blockbuster signing fans had hoped for in the shape of Jadon Sancho, he could prove to be similarly effective for a squad in dire need of creative service.
The young right-back was consistently solid last season but perhaps received less attention amongst the national media because of the glut of exciting, attacking English right-backs coming through like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James. United fans understand Wan-Bissaka’s value, however, and appreciate the defensive ability he offers which is arguably superior to his English counterparts.
Coming into his second season with the club, fans can expect the former Palace player to go from strength-to-strength. With concerns persisting around the overall stability of United’s backline, Wan-Bissaka could further establish himself as the most reliable bastion of the rearguard.
Despite some pessimism amongst fans about United’s start to the season, the depth of youthful talent at the club should provide hope for the challenges ahead. Teething problems are likely to continue, such is the nature of placing faith in youth, but the growing maturity and collective experience within the squad will surely lead to sizeable improvements as the season goes on. These three players, in particular, should provide the fans with plenty of excitement and make significant gains in their development.