Manchester United made plenty of progression during their first season under the watchful eye of Jose Mourinho, with the self-proclaimed Special One implementing his ideas and tactics.
We’re now in the transfer window which is obviously the time when the manager will be looking to improve the playing squad, but sometimes, the manager has the options right under his nose.
The Red Devils are a squad draped in rich history and traditions, and one of their main mantras has always been using academy graduates. We’ve drawn up a list of three players who will be looking for an increase in first-team game time over this season.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is born and bred Mancunian, and he oozes Manchester United. Louis van Gaal gave him a huge opportunity towards the back end of the 2015/16 and it is fair to say he took it with both hands.
When Mourinho took charge, he was shipped off to Wolves on loan, where he struggled for game-time. That doesn’t take away from his ability, however. He’s an excellent defender and his positional sense is very good. Although, my favourite part of his game is his crossing accuracy.
With Luke Shaw struggling and Marcos Rojo injured, perhaps he could be about to get his big opportunity to impress, because he has the potential to be a top level footballer.
The insanely talented Brazilian spent last season out in La Liga with Granada, where he impressed massively. He was the bright spark in a poor season for the Spanish club, and he’ll be coming back to Manchester with fire in his belly.
He has been on the periphery of things for the two seasons previous to the last one, and had to settle for minutes in the cup matches under Louis van Gaal.
However, Mourinho seems to be a fan of his, and with Wayne Rooney looking likely to leave, this could be Pereira’s time to shine.
My favourite player on this list has to be big Tim Fosu-Mensah. He’s just a tank of a man and a beast of a footballer. He was criminally underused last season, and that simply has to change going into the new campaign.
The Dutchman is versatile as he can play all across the back four as well as in midfield, and that has to appeal to the boss. He’s already shown a maturity beyond his years, and like Borthwick-Jackson, Fosu-Mensah excelled under Louis van Gaal towards the end of the 2015/16 campaign.
I’m just praying that he is involved in United’s pre-season tour so he can show exactly what he can do and give the gaffer something to think about.