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Manchester United's ideal starting XI for the 2014/15 season

Zaid Khan
Modified 04 Sep 2014, 18:36 IST

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will have a tough job picking his starting XI.After a scintillating pre-season display in the United Sates, Manchester United’s fairytale run under Louis van Gaal came to an obscure end when they crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City in their own backyard, a result which brought back horrid memories from the David Moyes era back to Old Trafford and left the club’s hierarchy scratching their heads in disbelief. The defeat, as admitted by Van Gaal, had smashed United’s confidence and left them wondering as to what their next step should be. To everybody’s surprise, the Dutch maestro decided to choose the path not often taken by United and ended up spending a staggering £149 million pounds in rebuilding his average United squad.United shattered the British transfer record to land Real Madrid’s wing wizard Angel Di Maria, along with the signings of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and the deadline day coup of Monaco striker Radamel Falcao on a loan deal. That’s quite a huge statement of intent, isn’t it? If that wasn’t enough, recent reports surfacing in British media have suggested that Manchester United are preparing a £30 million bid for Roma’s midfield maestro Kevin Strootman, a player who is held in high regard by Van Gaal.If the acquisitions of these player’s wasn’t a task too difficult for Van Gaal, then accommodating all these signings in the playing eleven is surely going to be a humongous challenge for the Old Trafford boss. United have basically signed three left backs in Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind, of which Blind and Rojo play in the centre back and central defensive midfield positions respectively. Rojo excelled as a centre back in his last season at Sporting Lisbon whereas Dutch star Blind won the Eredivisie Player Of The Year award playing as a central defensive midfielder all season at Ajax. The signing of Radamel Falcao has cast a shadow of doubt over the future of Robin Van Persie, who recently admitted that he is ready to fight for his place in the starting eleven against the Colombian superstar.United haven’t portrayed the kind of display’s usually expected of them but with these six new signings, there are a host of reason’s as to why the United fans should be hopeful and expectant of a  flurry of magnificent display’s. There has been a lot of speculation as to which formation Louis Van Gaal will opt for in order to accommodate his new signings in the playing 11 and of all the possible permutations and combinations, this is what I feel is perfect for United.Formation: 4-1-3-2

#1 Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The young Spanish prodigy has become a household name at Manchester United since his arrival from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and has been going from strength to strength with every game. De Gea had a rough start to life as Manchester United’s number one choice in between the sticks and took time to adapt to the physical prowess of the Premier League.

But, since the past season and a half, he has evolved as a goalkeeper and a player on the whole, pulling off some unbelievable saves in the process, including that one legged save at the Bernabeu against a rampant Real Madrid side. The pressure of performing and huge expectations from the fans has brought out the best in him and he’s determined to capitalise on his rich vein of form.

De Gea is considered as one of the best shot stoppers in the world and one of the best goalkeeper’s in the Premier League. His concentration on the pitch, determination to flourish and a winning mentality instilled in him by Sir Alex Ferguson has worked in his favour and he has consequently become one of United’s top performers. While other players were struggling to find form under the disastrous reign of David Moyes, De Gea was one of the leading lights marshalling United’s defense and pulling off some fantastic saves.

He will hope to improve his skills further under the leadership of Louis Van Gaal and if he keeps showing these massive strides of progress, very soon he can go on and become a legend for the Old Trafford club and the Spanish national side following in the footsteps of greats like Edwin van der Sar at club level, and Iker Casillas at national level.

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Published 04 Sep 2014, 15:58 IST
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