Manchester United’s preparations for the new season will be well underway. Jose Mourinho has made some superb signings during the transfer window, and we’re now just ten days away from the big kick-off. After a solid pre-season tour, things are warming up nicely.
To my pleasant surprise, it felt like the self-proclaimed Special One has taken a glimpse into the future whilst participating in friendlies, with a whole host of youngsters getting their opportunities.
Naturally, there will not be space for everyone to get in amongst the first-team, but a select few have what it takes to break through. We take a look at the most likely trio to earn regular first-team minutes this season.
After spending last season out on loan with Granada, the attacking midfielder has come back with real intent. He’s desperate to gain Mourinho’s trust, and he had a pretty solid time out in the United States of America. He’s supremely intelligent in possession, has two great feet and can fire a rasping shot on goal.
His best chance of getting minutes will come as the #10, but he can also play as a wide man, or even a deeper midfield role if the situation arises. Personally, I pray that he gets an opportunity this term. He’s clearly good enough, all he needs is a little bit of trust shown in him from his boss.
Tim Fosu-Mensah has already tasted regular Premier League football for the Old Trafford club, but it was over twelve months ago now. He was starved of chances during Mourinho’s debut season at the helm, and the 19-year-old was used far too sparingly for my liking.
This is a teenager who has proven he has what it takes to cope with the pressures of playing for Manchester United – and he’s a brilliant footballer. In pre-season, he’s been playing as a right-back; and Fosu-Mensah likely to play backup to Antonio Valencia. However, in my opinion, his true calling comes as a defensive midfielder as he has all the assets to do that job at an insanely high level.
United probably have the best set of goalkeepers on the planet. David de Gea is world-class, and Sergio Romero is a stupendously good backup choice. Our third in line isn’t bad, either. Joel Pereira made his debut on the final day of the Premier League season, and Mourinho’s love for him is well documented.
He’s probably the longshot out of the three players listed, but Pereira has all the makings of becoming one of the best in the business. I think that Mourinho sees him as a personal project, so don’t be surprised to see him in and around the team at times.