*Photo credit goes to @UtdDistrict*
It’s been a long time coming, but Jadon Sancho is finally a Manchester United player.
The 21-year-old England international has been chased by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club for the best part of two years but a £73million deal was finally agreed last month and is now complete after Euro 2020 came to an end.
Now that he is part of the squad, Solskjaer must decide on how best to use him going forward in the long-term but also short-term as he comes to terms with the fall-out of Euro 2020 and Copa America as well as other fitness and form issues in his squad for the start of the season.
How should United start the season in attack? How should it look once everyone is fit and firing? Here’s how I see it…
LEFT WING STARTER – Marcus Rashford
Depth: Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, Dan James
If anyone has made a position their own in the Manchester United attack it is the number 10, Mr. Rashford.
Pace, direct running, a killer final pass and a goal threat, Rashford has mastered the out-to-in run and is often United’s biggest threat in attacking situations. Injuries mean that he could miss the start of the season, but that wouldn’t be the biggest issue in the world.
Anthony Martial is fit again and capable of playing there, while Sancho is arguably just as good on the left as he is on the right while Solskjaer is still a fan of Dan James who can fill in if needs be too.
RIGHT WING STARTER – Jadon Sancho
Depth: Mason Greenwood, Amad, Juan Mata
I think it’s fair to say that Sancho has been signed to walk straight into the team on the right wing and anything else would be seen as a surprise.
It’s been a problem position for several years for Manchester United and over the last two seasons Solskjaer has been using Mason Greenwood in that position for his ambi-pedal abilities and goalscoring threat, but he’s a striker first and foremost.
The signing of Amad added depth but he was eased into the first-team picture last season, but some added minutes could be thrown his way this season in certain games to rotate the squad and even just add competition and help develop him more.
Juan Mata’s new deal means another option too, but the young bucks should certainly be ahead of him in the pecking order.
NUMBER 10 STARTER – Bruno Fernandes
Depth: Donny Van de Beek, Juan Mata, Hannibal Mejbri
Bruno Fernandes is the second name on the team sheet for Solskjaer after Harry Maguire in defence and that will not change this season barring something crazy.
The real question about this position is who should play when he doesn’t and Solskjaer has got options, whether he opts to use them or not. Donny Van de Beek is capable of playing as a ten, although it’s a different type of way to play the role while Mata arguably made his name in the position when he was younger.
There is also the possibility of Hannibal earning some first-team minutes after being promoted to the senior team at the end of last season and if he can impress during pre-season then he could earn himself some minutes during the season too.
STRIKER STARTER – Mason Greenwood
Depth: Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
The new one-year contract for Edinson Cavani would suggest that he will be the first-choice striker going into the new season, but if there’s ever the time to try something new it is now with Greenwood as the man.
The youngster has proven that he has the ability to score goals at the highest level despite his age and his preferred position is through the middle. He holds the ball up well, can drift wide and has the pace to run in behind plus finishes with both feet.
Cavani showed last season that he can affect games coming off the bench if necessary and despite Martial’s popularity with fans and the squad, his form last season was bad enough that he now must earn his place back through performances.