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Football News: The Manchester United Squad Rebuild Will Take Years

The Manchester United Squad Rebuild Will Take Years

Looking at the Manchester United squad, the rebuild is massive and will take years. When breaking the squad down, here's what I think needs to be done over the next two summers. Beyond that, it becomes far too hazy and hard to predict. So here's my attempt at playing the new DoF and creating the plan to rebuild the squad over the never two summers.

Players who are or might be good enough to be a first team player and have a medium term future at the club:

Onana, Martinez, Shaw, Mount, Bruno, Rashford.

These are players who, unless they are causing issues off the pitch, have enough talent that with the right players around them can be important players for us over the next few seasons.

Youngsters with promise who need to be given more chances:

Mainoo, Fernandez, Garnacho, Gore, Amad, Hannibal and Hojlund.

These players have a chance of stepping up. Some might become top quality players, others may be solid squad players, others might not prove good enough. But they all need to be given the chances to show what they can do.

We then have a group of players who are fine for this season and maybe next season as squad players, but are declining and will need to be replaced soon:

Heaton, Evans, Varane, Casemiro and Eriksen.

Squad players who will need replacing over the next 3-5 years, but can still add something for now:

Bayindir, Malacia, (Dalot or AWB) and Lindelof.

The tricky one here is Dalot and AWB, neither are good enough to be first choice, but there is no point keeping two players who aren't good enough who play the same position. We need to bring in a top class RB and one of these guys needs to make way for that. While AWB has made big strides forward under EtH, I'd be more inclined to keep Dalot. He's better technically and more tactically flexible, able to play as a traditional RB, a RWB or as an inverted fullback as well as being able to play on both sides. AWB is better defending, but far more limited in how he can play.

Players who just need to be sold/ moved on asap:

Maguire, Williams, (AWB), McTominay, Donny, Pellistri (Decent player, but I don't think he'll be good enough), Sancho, Antony (needs to go, but will have to stay for another season or two due to what we paid for him), Martial and Shoretire (was highly rated but seems to have stagnated) . Greenwood needs to go, he won't get a fair shot at United due to the media.

I'd hope to see all of these players leave next summer or even in January if possible. Although Antony will probably have to stay due to what we spent on him. I'd also expect to see Heaton and Evans leave, and possibly Varane as well.

Players like Reguilon and Amrabat I haven't included as they are on loan, I don't think either should be signed unless they do a madness between now and the end of the season.

That would see a squad of:

GK: Onana, Bayindir.

DEF: Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw, Malacia, Fernandez.

MID: Casemiro, Mount, Bruno, Eriksen, Mainoo, Gore, Hannibal.

FWD: Rashford, Hojlund, Garnacho, Amad, and Antony (unfortunately).

Looking at that, we will need a 3rd/ 2nd choice keeper, maybe one of the youngsters such as Vitek could cover there or we may need to bring in an old head on a free/ cheap deal.

Defence needs a lot of work, a RB is a must as is two CB's.

Midfield while a long way from ideal, there are some decent options and a few youngsters who could step up. I think we need a top class CDM as Casemiro should be more of a squad player next season, and it's too soon to expect Mainoo to be first choice. I'd probably loan out Gore to get first team football so that he could replace Casemiro the following summer.

Up front we need another striker as we can't just rely on Hojlund. I'd be tempted to sign another RW player if possible, but that might have to wait a year. Fingers crossed Amad can step up, or maybe we play Mount out there.

In order of priority, we should target a CB, RB, CDM, CB, ST, RW, back up GK.

I'd expect we could sign 5 first team players, maybe a 6th if we bring in a cheap/ free keeper.

Hopefully CB, RB, CDM, CB and ST. Build a strong spine. Probably like a top class RB, CB and CDM, then a talented young CB with high potential and a good ST, but probably not a top tier option as they will be too expensive (probably in the £30-40m price range). Someone who's a solid striker who can rotate with Hojlund who I think will be top class.

That would give us a squad something like this:

Onana, Bayindir, Vitek / new GK, New RB, Dalot, Martinez, Lindelof, New CB, new CB, Shaw, Malacia, Fernandez, Casemiro, new CDM, Mainoo, Eriksen, Mount, Bruno, Hannibal, Antony, Amad, Hojlund, new ST, Rashford, Garnacho.

The following summer (2025), we should look to start moving on those squad players who aren't good enough and replacing them with top class players.

Lindelof, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony and maybe one of Fernandez or Malacia. Others, if they haven't shown an ability to step up (Hannibal, Amad, Gore, Bayindir maybe, are ones I am least confident in stepping up to the required level).

I think we'd need another CB to replace Lindelof as 4th choice. A CM to replace Casemiro and Eriksen (hopefully Mainoo has stepped up to replace one of them, meaning we only need 1 CM). A top class RW is a must this summer to replace Antony, maybe a second forward comfortable on the right depending on how Amad has done.

That's a minimum of CB, CM, and a RW probably 2 RW players. Then it will be replacing others if needed. Players like Dalot, Gore/ Hannibal, Mount maybe? Bayindir or the other back up keeper, Possibly Rashford if Garnacho has overtaken him and we can find a quality replacement.

Squad starting to look like:

Onana, Bayindir, new GK, RB 2024, Dalot, Martinez, CB 2024, CB 2024, new CB, Shaw, Malacia or Fernandez, CDM 2024, Mainoo, Mount, Bruno, new CM, one of Hannibal or Gore, new RW, Amad or new RW, Hojlund, ST 2024, Rashford and Garnacho.

By this point, we might have only 14 or 15 of the original 34 players we currently have in our squad, along with 9-11 new signings. It'd be a much more streamlined squad, and would give more chances to young academy players. From this point onwards it becomes about adding quality where we can and maybe a couple more players to take it from a squad of around 24 to 26 or 27 as you'd hope by this point the team is back competing at some level in European competition, so will start to need a slightly bigger squad.

The summer of 2025 will be about the midfield and RW positions, and improving the quality in depth where needed. You also can't rule out the fact that maybe one or two of the summer 2024 signings haven't worked out and you might still need to sign a player in one of those positions as a priority. Beyond this point, it becomes impossible to really plan specifically.

You don't know how the new signings have settled, whether youngsters have stepped up or developed, or whether some players who get pushed into squad roles are pushing to leave. You don't know who the manager is and whether they have any specific requirements (maybe we have a manager who wants to play with 3 CBs in which case maybe the profile or number of CBs we need to sign changes).

Either way, I think next summer (2024) has to be about getting rid of those who just aren't good enough or who are causing issues behind the scenes. Bring in top class defenders and a CDM as a priority to create a solid base to build on. We should be getting our scouts to prioritise those areas now, so we have a good idea of who we should be targeting in the summer.

The summer of 2025 is about moving on squad players and youngsters who haven't stepped up, and try to improve our attack, particularly on the right and replace those players who aren't good enough depending on who that is and where the need arises. There is also a chance that we might need another defender or midfielder if those we signed in 2024 haven't lived up to expectations.

Written by Shappy November 03 2023 14:36:26


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