2015/16 Finish: 5
Last season was disappointed for Manchester United. The most impressive part of their season was an FA Cup victory. But during the Premier League season they were anything but impressive. Their offense was dreadful. And their best field player was a 20 year old, Anthony Martial. That’s a horrible sign for a team with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the side.
Transfers In: Eric Bailly (DF), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (FW), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MF), Paul Pogba (MF)
With Jose Mourinho’s first transfer window as United manager he made strong moves. Bailly has looked good so far this preseason. He should form a solid partnership with Chris Smalling. Ibrahimovic is a player that needs no introduction. He’s spent his career making a reputation as a potent goalscorer and that should continue in Manchester. Mkhitaryan may be the player that’s most intriguing. He proved himself as an elite playmaker at Dortmund the last few seasons. That’s something United has lacked the last few seasons. If he continues to play well, United will definitely improve this season. Then there’s the world’s most expensive player Paul Pogba. He’s finally come back to Manchester after proving that it was a mistake to let him walk in the first place. He’s just 23, and is already one of the most exciting talents in the world.
Transfers Out: George Dorrington (GK), Victor Valdes (GK), Nick Powell (MF), Oliver Rathbone (MF), Tyler Reid (DF), Joe Rothwell (MF), Ashley Fletcher (FW), Jimmy Dunne (DF)
I expect more players to leave as they find themselves without a spot in Mourinho’s side. It’s possible that Juan Mata leaves, although reports are expecting him to stay. It also looks like Bastian Schweinsteiger has no place in this side. But as of now, they are still on the team. Valdes is the only significant name on this list. The former Barcelona goalkeeper had a short career at United, and will now move on to Middlesbrough.
Key Player(s): David De Gea
The last two seasons have shown that De Gea is one of the world’s best keepers. He has singlehandedly kept them in games, and possibly helped Louis van Gaal hold onto his job longer than he should have. This season they should be much better. Their defense has been shored up and the team should be much more solid tactically. But nonetheless De Gea will be the constant in this team. He’ll be a huge part in any success that they achieve.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 3
With the inclusion of Paul Pogba, we expect United to jump back into the Champions League. Mourinho has proven that he’s a winner and he definitely has talent in his squad. One thing to watch this season will be how Rooney fits into the squad. Can he play with Zlatan up top? The Euros showed he may not be a great midfield option, but will he play there anyway? Will Mourinho actually bench the United captain? That’s a story we’re interested in seeing play out this season.