Reinventing Man United: this first team overhaul could end the season on a high – Man United News And Transfer News

With Champions League qualification all but technically over, Manchester United’s only hope of salvaging something from one of their worst seasons of the Premier League era is winning the FA Cup.

As far as the Premier League goes, the players appear to have given up and terrible performances such as that against Brentford on Saturday have become the norm.

The only good that can come out of United’s remaining nine Premier League games is to find some pride, to entertain the supporters and to plant some seeds that could sprout in 2024/25.

Frankly, an axe should be taken to the pitiful, embarrassing, couldn’t-give-a-flying-you-know-what team that is a disgrace to the legacy of the Busby Babes.

In its stead, here is the kind of team that should be given a chance to salvage something from the year of hell.

In goal, Andre Onana keeps his place. He struggled at the start of the season and almost single-handedly cost United their Champions League place, but he has found his feet now and has that fire in his belly that so many other team members seem to lack.

Right back Diogo Dalot also keeps his place – just. He has been one of the most consistent players this season and certainly the most improved. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has so much talent but has zero concentration skills and arguably should not play for Manchester United again.

At centre back, let’s have a proper look at Willy Kambwala. He’s played some minutes and looked composed and classy. It would solve a huge problem if, between now and the end of the season, he can demonstrate his ability to play football at Premier League level, as United could then perhaps walk away from £100 million deals for the likes of Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and spend the money on other areas of the pitch.

Kamwala could partner Lisandro Martinez, whose presence, personality and aggression in the heart of the United defence has been sorely missed this season.

As for Rapha Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, enough is enough. We can only blame so much on coaches this season, their defending has been shocking. Out you go. Jonny Evans does tick the box for passion, pride and commitment, but let’s look to the future with Kambwala.

At left back, in the absence of Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Alvaro Fernandez, let’s give youngster Harry Amass a chance to show off his talents. Signed from Watford back in August, the 17 year old is oozing with potential and has been sensational for the Under 18s this season.

In midfield, keeping Kobbie Mainoo is a no-brainer if we chalk his poor performance against Brentford down to the after-effects of the illness that caused him to miss training. Beside him, Mason Mount should be given a chance. He scored on Saturday and seemed to instantly inject energy when coming on.

Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Sofyan Amrabat and especially Scott McTominay, who is supposed to be Mr Manchester United, bursting with pride for the shirt, have all looked like they couldn’t give a toss whether they win or lose. Let’s clear out this deadwood.

Further up the pitch, Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund should keep their places. Whatever complaints might be levelled at Fernandes, nobody can question his work rate and will to win. Along with Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund have been a breath of fresh air and represent the future of Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford’s attitude, on the other hand, has got to have been one of the worst of all this season. Rashford took to social media a few weeks ago to hit back at those questioning his commitment. Goal droughts happen to players, but what are we supposed to think, Marcus, when you don’t track back, when you don’t make runs, when as a winger you have averaged 0.1 accurate crosses per game this season, when you have only made one tackle every two games, when you have only made one interception every 10 games, and less than two successful dribbles per game? (Stats via sofascore.com).

Rashford, Antony (who does at least track back) and, should he ever be fit anyway, Anthony Martial do not deserve a place in the team for the rest of the season. Perhaps the match-winning hero against Liverpool, Amad Diallo, should finally be given a run in the team to show us what he can do.

It seems fair to say the fans have had enough. Two years ago, interim manager Ralf Rangnick said United need “open heart surgery“. He was blasted for the comments at the time, but he was right. With the season a write-off, now is the perfect time for the surgeon to pick up his scalpel and get to work.

Our “salvage something” XI, then, looks like this:

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