Sunday 22 January 2017

Will Hummels, Bale and Coleman follow Depay to Old Trafford? How United might line-up next season

Published 07/05/2015 | 14:00

From left in red: Man United's new £25m signing Memphis Depay, Everton target Seamus Coleman and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels
From left in red: Man United's new £25m signing Memphis Depay, Everton target Seamus Coleman and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels

Memphis Depay has become Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's first summer signing, but more could well follow suit. Here is what the stating XI could look like next season

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Goalkeeper

David De Gea

Poised to sign a new £200,000-a-week deal, his return to Spain will happen sooner rather than later, but United will hope to hang onto the shot-stopper for at another couple of years.

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Defence

Luke Shaw

Has shown glimpses in the second half of the season that made him such a sought-after signing last summer. With a clean bill of health, should establish his place at Old Trafford next term.

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Chris Smalling

Has become the number one centre half thanks to injuries to Jonny Evans and Phil Jones, while Marcos Rojo has failed to convince. Fears over his long-term future appear to have steadied his focus.

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Mats Hummels

The Borussia Dortmund has been linked with a move over the last 18 months. With a central defender required and the German side struggling badly last term and Jurgen Klopp's departure, it would appear to be the perfect match if a fee could be agreed between the clubs.

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Seamus Coleman

Antonio Valencia has filled in manfully for the past two seasons, but is still a converted midfielder and has been exposed at times for his positional sense, though has improved immeasurable this term.

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The Republic of Ireland full-back has been linked with the Red Devils and Arsenal, and a £25m fee bandied about. Would be a fantastic move for the player despite Everton's insistence they won't sell.

Midfield

Ander Herrera

After a slow start, has grown into his role steadily in the team. An astute passer, has admittedly looked vulnerable without Michael Carrick for company. Clear to see why David Moyes was so keen to bring the Spaniard to Old Trafford.

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Michael Carrick

His value seems to multiply when injuries rob Van Gaal of the English midfielder. The key cog in United's resurgence, Carrick is easily the most consistent, and arguably most important midfielder at the club.

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Angel di Maria

The Argentinian has failed to settle in what has been a topsy-turvy campaign, but the £59m signing will look to set the record straight next  season.

Van Gaal will be reluctant to dispose of the asset after just one season and if he gets anywhere near his Madrid form of 2011-14, will cause serious damage both domestically and in Europe.

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Attack

Gareth Bale

The former Tottenham star may bring an end to his Spanish adventure this summer and United would head the queue of suitors. A role on the left side of a front three would allow the Welshman to utilise his blistering pace in the final third and chip in on the goal scoring front.

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The world's most expensive player would be a huge outlay, but as the Forbes rich list indicated, there is sufficient money in the coffers to make this happen. 

Wayne Rooney

The central attacking position is clearly where United get maximum value from the England striker, regardless of his undoubted work ethic and propensity to track back. Hasn't had a settled partner all season and often appeared in midfield, but will get 20-plus goals if kept in attack.

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With Falcao expected to depart, Hernandez unlikely to return and doubts surrounding Robin van Persie's fitness and future, he will carry the goal scoring burden.

Memphis Depay

The winger often plays on the left wing before cutting in on his right, but with possibly Bale and Di Maria in situ, not to mind a marauding Shaw from full-back, a more natural and obvious place would be on the right hand side of the attack.

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Last year the Dutch international was named on the three-man shortlist for the World Cup's Best Young Player award, together with Frenchmen Paul Pogba and Raphaël Varane, an indication of his undoubted potential.

With 20 goals this season for PSV, following on from his 13 on his debut campaign, Depay should provide a threat in front of goals.

Potential Man United 2015/16 team (4-3-4): De Gea; Shaw, Hummels, Smalling, Coleman; Herrera, Carrick, Di Maria; Bale, Rooney, Depay.

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