A New Season, A Summer Clear Out But Not Yet A New Era For Manchester United

Manchester United take on Wolves in the Premier League
08:00, 14 Aug 2023

Manchester United will host a beleaguered Wolves side as they get their Premier League campaign off and running. With the right manager in charge in Erik Ten Hag, the Red Devils have had a summer refresh and are now ready to improve on their third place finish from last term. 

The Dutch manager has been busy this summer, and taken more big decisions in order to craft the squad in his own image. The biggest departure is without a doubt David de Gea, who departs after 12 years at the club. He’s so often been the shining light during difficult times but over the past couple of years it’s been clear his time at the top was coming to an end. 

In comes Andre Onana in his place, a keeper who is far more comfortable on the ball and far more suited to the way Ten Hag has to play. The other potential departures also show a strong dedication to progression. Harry Maguire, Fred and Scott McTominay are all seemingly on their way out this summer and all three have been the symbols of Manchester United’s struggles at one point or another over the last five years. 


The ‘McFred’ double pivot hamstrung the club’s progression, but now with Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen and new signing Mason Mount, they have enough competition to move on. Removing the deadwood has been a key target for Ten Hag this term and this squad certainly feels ready to compete at a higher level than they did last term. 

Talk of wrestling back the Premier League title from the blue half of Manchester may seem ambitious, but the Dutch boss has shown ambition at every turn and that will be next on the agenda. Mount is undoubtedly an excellent addition and he’s exactly the right profile to thrive under his new boss, but United’s success could hang on the success of their new number nine. 

Rasmus Hojlund will miss the start of the season through injury and at just 20, could be one for the future. Having missed out on Harry Kane, United will once again rely on Marcus Rashford to provide a hefty chunk of their attacking output, fresh from signing his new contract. 


One man who could step up is Alejandro Garnacho, the 19-year-old winger who will be afforded plenty of opportunities this term. Amad Diallo could be loaned out again, while Anthony Martial is now 27, and the season’s continue to tick by without him making a major impression at Old Trafford. 

The summer clearout hasn’t quite stretched to the French winger, given no club will take on his gargantuan wages. Then we come to Mason Greenwood. The major grey cloud currently hanging over the club is what to do with the 21-year-old forward, who has been suspended since January 2022. 

It should be a simple decision. Get rid. That would fit in with the major decisions Ten Hag has made so far, but for some reason, he and the club are dragging their heels over this one. He got rid of Cristiano Ronaldo at the drop of a hat, but it feels as though the longer things go on, the more likely that Greenwood will return to Manchester United. 

That will be a kick in the teeth for the women’s team, and most match-going fans. We’ve all seen the video and heard the voice note. If Manchester United want to employ and celebrate a man like that, it sours any success they may or may not have this term. 

With all the positive changes made this summer, that issue certainly needs resolving. But another major issue for United fans hasn’t been concluded yet. It looked for all the world like the club would be sold this summer, either to Jim Ratcliffe or to Qatar, yet again those talks appear to have stalled. 

The new owners would have injected a tonne of cash and dragged United back to the top of the tree, but it feels as though there is a slight stagnation on all parts. Everything on the pitch is looking positive, but off it, two major lingering issues are clouding the start of United’s campaign. 

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