The easiest choice for Jose is the goalkeeper. My guess is that David De Gea will not only start the game, but he will finish it as well and be present during the middle bit.

Now begins the fun. At left back should be Luke Shaw, a young kid who shows all the promise in the world and should, barring injury, be around for a long time. The other full back will probably be Antonio Valencia, who has spent the last two years getting older and proving that he cannot defend so, to me, he has always been a strange choice for this position and is lucky to still be at the club.

Despite Mourinho’s dislike for playing people out of position, it is likely that Daley Blind will occupy one of the two central defensive roles, particularly if Smalling is still injured. The other will be taken by another Eric Bailly, another kid with little experience.

Midfield is a lottery to an extent as this is where Mourinho has a wide choice of players. He likes to go with a three usually, so I would expect Herrera, Carrick and Rooney to start here with Mkhitaryan and Lingard as the wide players and Ibrahimovic up top.

So, if this is anywhere near the selection that Mourinho goes with on Sunday then I have a certain amount of sympathy with him and can see why he still wants a couple of players.

The team, at present, seems to be a mixture of young and old with little in between and one of the problems appears to be that none of the older ones are leaders.

One player who is in the middle of the age range is Chris Smalling who may play if he has overcome injury. He is certainly not a leader and it seems that Mourinho may be in agreement with myself when he says he desperately needs a new centre back. Bailly is very young, Blind is not a centre back, Jones and Rojo are both injury and mistake prone and Smalling himself, although very much improved, will never be good enough for United, not if they have designs on the major trophies again.

How much longer can Michael Carrick continue to make one good defence-splitting pass and three sideways ones is anybody’s guess but I think he will be the one to miss out when Pogba arrives. Herrera and Mata are both good squad players and are in the mid-range age-wise, so are definitely worth keeping around. Schweinsteiger seems to be persona non grata and will be sold whilst Fellaini, Depay, Young and Lingard should be ushered out of the door with him and, if it were down to me, so should Rooney.

Up front, the old man has decided to try his hand at the Premier League. At least he is ambitious and has taken the opposite route to most big name players in that he has come to England towards the end of his career rather than seek the easy money by staying in France or moving to Spain or Germany. It will be interesting to see how the season goes for him.

The Manchester United team on Sunday will probably have in it four players over thirty years of age, three players under twenty-five, a goalkeeper who is ageless and three mid-age range players. I would prefer the mid-age range players to number nearer to the five or six mark. This is the mixture of youth and experience that, in my opinion, wins things.

Mourinho, in the past, has always gone for experience and he has been proven correct by the number of trophies he has won. If Paul Pogba does arrive at United and he can get an experienced centre back, which is why the name of Jose Fonte keeps cropping up, then United will be nearer to the mix and balance that he likes.

I don’t think that Pogba will be the last signing for United during this transfer window.

  1. RedMe says:

    My line up would be.
    De Gea,
    Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw
    Mata , Herrera, Rooney
    Mkhitaryan, Martial


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