Manchester United: Key players for the 2017/18 season

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United stretches with teammates during training for Tour 2017 at UCLA's Drake Stadium on July 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United stretches with teammates during training for Tour 2017 at UCLA's Drake Stadium on July 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

With the start of the Premier League season only 3 days away Manchester United fans worldwide will be looking to a core set of players to bring the trophy back to Old Trafford for the first time in the post Sir Alex era.

Having already spent £146m on Victor Lindelöf, Victor Lindelöf and Nemanja Matić, it’s easy to forget the existing Manchester United players who managed to bring home three trophies last season. Another potential couple of signings are possibly on their way as reported in the English press (Gareth Bale and Sergi Roberto from Real Madrid and Barcelona respectfully).

Marcus Rashford

We all know the story Rashford’s miraculous rise to stardom over the past 18 months after his debut goals in the Europa League. Rashford is a young player who possesses all of the natural attributes needed to be a successful player. His speed alone is enough to terrify most Premier League defences.

The only part of his game which could be said to be lacking is his composure in front of goal. When given time and space the youngster has a tendency to over think and fail to convert. It’s safe to say as he gains more experience in the first team his composure should get better. there was certainly evidence of this during Manchester United tour of the US this summer.

The 2016/2017 season started off very slowly for the young striker playing second fiddle to Zlatan, but by the end of the season, he’d certainly cemented himself as a key player for United.

Antony Martial

Manchester United's Anthony Martial
CARSON, CA – JULY 15: Anthony Martial /

After a debut to dream of against Liverpool in September 2015 Martial’s season went from strength to strength resulting in him being the clubs leading goal scorer. A disastrous time at the Euro’s and a bitter divorce followed.

Martial was notably affected by these off the field incidents and found it very hard to get into Mourinhio’s first team. There was a noticeable improvement as the season progressed with the forward back to his best when taking on players with the ball.

With Martial, it’s very easy to forget that he’s still only 21 years old, which in football terms is an age away from being the finished article. It’s fair to say though that his 3rd season at United is going to be make or break for the player so much is expected of him. His blistering pace, much like Rashford, breeds fear into opposing defenders. The ability to turn on a sixpence and a dribbling ability that only the young (and Ronaldo) seem to possess, Martial definitely has the ability to be a key player this season if he can keep his mind on the pitch.

Paul Pogba

When the Frenchman returned to Old Trafford for a world record £89 million in the summer of 2016 a lot of people expected him to be scoring 40+ goals a season. That just isn’t Pogba’s game. There’s no doubt that he knows how to strike a ball, having hit the post more than any other player in the league last season.

Pogba’s main strength lies in his passing ability. While the stats are misleading when you look at the number of assists (4 in the league last season). He often found the player in space who was able to get the assist. If the league adopted the same 2 assist rule that we see in the NHL, Pogba would be leading the charts every season.

The addition of Nemanja Matić sitting between the midfield and defence, Pogba should be granted much more freedom to roam the pitch taking control of games.

Roman Lukaku

The big Belgian has had a great start to life at United scoring 3 times during preseason. A proven Premier League player with both Everton and West Brom. At 24 Lukaku is a perfect replacement from Zlatan. His pace, power and ability to hold the ball will allow his teammates time to join the attack.

The blossoming friendship off the field with Poga should mean that chances will fall his way, with all due respect for Everton where the player scored 25 league goals last season. It’s fair to say that big things are expected of this young man at Old Trafford.

Nemanja Matic

The recent acquisition from Chelsea has been deemed the ‘missing link’ by former Arsenal Legend Ian Wright. At 29 many people unfamiliar with Matic will question his £40m price tag. However, experience is vital when your primary job is to protect the defence.

It’s often been said that the United midfields of late have lacked the steel and determination which Roy Keane provided during the club’s most successful period. At 6ft 4in Matic certainly proves to be an intimidating opponent for attackers. While Matic is most known for his defensive abilities he can still hit a screamer when needed. As last season’s FA cup semi final against Spurs showed.

Next: Manchester United Pre-Season Player Preview: Eric Bailly

With the potential of more signings on the way,  some of the youngsters coming through the ranks and the senior players above starting to reach their potential Manchester United Fans can hope to put the last few years of premiership heartbreak to rest.