Man United 23/24 Season Preview – Ten Hag’s New United
In this article we have a Man United 23/24 season preview for you as Erik Ten Hag looks to build on a successful first year at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag’s First Season At Man United
Erik ten Hag had a decent first season as Man United manager following clever recruitment, particularly with the signings of Martinez and Casemiro, in particular, making a huge difference to their starting-11 and their defensive stability.
Elsewhere, Malacia has been a serviceable deputy at left-back. Eriksen has improved the midfield, albeit he isn’t very mobile but he has certainly made the midfield more creative. While Antony has flashed at times although a lot more will be expected of him next season.
However, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and obviously Manchester City continuing to strengthen their sides, Manchester United and ten Hag will have to have a similar Transfer Window this summer to not just progress but, first of all, to prevent any regression.
Mason Mount’s arrival was announced two days ago as the club’s first man-in-the-door signing from Chelsea until June 2028, with the option of a further year for a reported €64.20m.
But there are dozens of rumours every day about who is or isn’t signing for the club, and that is before you even get into this protracted takeover saga.
We’ve decided to take a look at how Man United could look in their depth department this coming season.
This a key area for ten Hag this transfer window, and how this is handled between himself and the Manchester United boardroom could have a huge effect on how successful his second season becomes.
As it stands, David De Gea is a Free Agent following 12 years of loyal service at the club, where he won club POTY four times. Former Man United star Dwight Yorke said in an interview with us that United should be ‘careful what they wish for’ in moving on from De Gea. In my opinion, De Gea’s best days are behind him. He is error-prone, and he does not have the ball-playing ability for a ten Hag side.
Question marks remain of the morality of agreeing on a contract and then pulling it from the Spaniard. Though it is a morally questionable way of doing so, it is the correct move, and I hope he moves on.
Andre Onana, currently under contract with Inter Milan is the very likely replacement for him at odds of 1/12 to sign for United in this summer transfer window. Onana is a man ten Hag knows from Ajax and has elite distribution; this deal looks very likely to be done.
Elsewhere Henderson has burned his bridges and will move on this summer. Thus, a backup keeper is needed, and Japanese keeper Zion Suzuki seems the most likely candidate, with Tom Heaton remaining as the third choice for some stability, despite interest from Luton.
Manchester United have Japanese 2002 born GK Zion Suzuki (Urawa Reds) on their radar. 🔴🇯🇵 #MUFC
He’s one of the option as new backup GK. Nothing done — but Man Utd informed.
Priority remains to get André Onana deal done. Talks ongoing with Inter. €55m bid needed to seal it 🇨🇲 pic.twitter.com/My17Nh4CT8
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 7, 2023
This is the area of the pitch where you can expect the least amount of drastic change when it comes to the first-team squad anyway.
Earlier last season, right back seemed like a problem area for the club, but the form and defensive strength of Wan Bissaka and the versatility and passing ability of Diogo Dalot means this could be an area put on the back-burner until next summer.
Wan Bissaka should be the starter as he is the better full-back, but Dalot will likely rotate in for matches where they’re expected to dominate the ball more.
The CBs shouldn’t change too much with Varane and Martinez an excellent pairing, albeit there are question marks of Varane’s fitness. Lindelof is a more than able deputy when called upon while Luke Shaw showed last season he is a more than good enough CB option.
I’m 50:50 about a fourth defender, and it will depend on if they can find a buyer for Maguire, which could prove difficult (with his wage increase). If he leaves, they’ll have no choice but to bring in another defender.
Elsewhere, Phil Jones is finally gone along with youngsters Tuanzebe, Benard and Laird to Birmingham. Bailly and Telles will leave this summer, and probably Williams, while Fernandez might be given a chance at LB in pre-season with Shaw considered a CB option too.
This is a very interesting area for Manchester United; with the signing of Mason Mount already completed and plenty of speculation about the future of some of their current signings, there could be further movement here just yet.
Casemiro is the undisputed DM in this side, and his importance for the team borders on overreliance. With Casemiro in the team they win up to 30% more of the time when he plays than when he misses games through injury or (more likely) suspension.
In an ideal world, they would go in for a deputy with Moroccan midfielder Amrabat linked, but I can’t see it happening. Despite a chance he leaves and the fact he is really a number 8 and not a DM, I’d expect McTominay to stay and be deputy.
In the more advanced eight positions, I think you will see Bruno deployed deeper, as we saw on occasion last season since he has shown he has the ball retention to do so. Mount will likely come in for Eriksen as a more mobile and aggressive eight despite not having the same level of ball-carrying ability; this will be something ten Hag looks to coach into him.
Eriksen could still be seen in games where they’re expected to dominate possession more, with Mount and Fernandes being options on the wing also. The fourth midfield slot will likely be held by McTominay, but I’m expecting a big season out of teenage starlet Mainoo, and don’t be surprised if he has the impact Garnacho did last season.
Elsewhere, youngsters Iqbal and Galbraith are gone while Fred and van de Beek will be allowed to leave for the right offer to free up funds in the market and to ensure they stay within FFP regulations. Hannibal Mejbri is someone I’d like to see given a chance in pre-season, but I can see him moving permanently.
This is one of the weakest areas of the current squad right now but also has the added dimension that of all areas in the squad, it still probably has the highest level of potential. On the right-hand side, Antony showed flashes of potential last season, but the consistency wasn’t there.
Sancho struggled with personal problems when he came back, he looked sharper, but there is still a lot more to come, and this is his last season to prove himself at the club.
LW is the strongest area of the attack, with Rashford prolific on the flank. The England international has probably suffered due to their over-reliance on him but expect Garnacho to have an even bigger season this year and could find himself starting off the left at times, especially if Rashford has to fill in as a striker.
CF is a really important area for them to fulfil, with no recognised striker last season besides a goal-shy (yet lovable) Weghorst. Rasmus Højlund seems to be the man who will be brought in but given his lack of experience, he may find himself rotated with Rashford.
While I think there will be a chance for McNeil with a decent pre-season to earn himself a spot as the third striker in the squad.
Elsewhere, I think that while Martial should be sold, not due to lack of talent but due to zero durability, I struggle to see where he goes and so could find himself as a deputy striker (at best).
Pellisitri will likely be in-around the squad again with the jury out with Amad Diallo whether he will get a chance. I think Elanga‘s time at the club is up, though.
Manchester United 23/24 Squad Prediction
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