Three summer signings in Manchester United dream line up vs Leeds for opening Premier League fixture
Man Utd will face Leeds United on the opening weekend of the 2021/22 Premier League season after the fixtures were announced
The European Championship might be ongoing but Manchester United fans can be excused for looking forward to the new club season instead.
Wednesday morning saw with it the release of the Premier League fixtures for the 2021/22 season and with it fresh optimism and hope for the year which lies ahead.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will face a tough test in the opening round of matches when they host fierce rivals Leeds United at Old Trafford, but his squad could look different from the one which ended the previous campaign only three weeks ago.
United are yet to sign anyone in the first week of the summer transfer window, but with talks ongoing Solskjaer is still on course to deliver a dream line up for that opening encounter.
It's important to note this is purely a dream scenario, but one which isn't entirely unfathomable, with new additions based on genuine interest from the club rather than a superstar list of Kevin de Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The other crucial aspect is that for United to strengthen every position they want to this summer a hefty chunk of income will need to arrive from player sales, while there is also the need to trim the fat on an already bloated squad.
In goal it remains a toss-up between Dean Henderson and David de Gea with neither of them firmly establishing themselves as the No.1 choice under Solskjaer last season. It is still up for plenty of debate but is a situation which needs resolving, you can argue in favour of either, or even neither.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is still the best option at right-back for such an opponent even if Kieran Trippier signs, while Luke Shaw's starting spot seems assured on the opposite flank.
The first big change comes in defence with club captain Harry Maguire partnered by Raphael Varane as United continue to go 'all out' for a new centre-back this summer.
Paul Pogba's recent performances for France have once again highlighted the need for him to be given attacking freedom, with a specialist defensive midfielder needed if they are to keep him happy and use him to his optimum. Declan Rice and Wilfred Ndidi are probably the two ideal candidates, with the West Ham man perhaps the most obvious fit into the current side.
United's squad would also be greatly enhanced by the arrival of Jadon Sancho, who not only brings with him extra squad depth, but also immediately strengthens the starting line up.
Marcus Rashford would provide the better balance in attack, although there is fair argument to suggest Pogba should play out wide with another central midfielder brought into the side.
Edinson Cavani has already proven he has what it takes to lead the line for another season and deserves to start in front of a packed Old Trafford on the opening weekend. The long-term dream will be for Harry Kane or Erling Haaland to take his place, but that seems impossible given the other new additions already mentioned.
United's dream XI vs Leeds: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Pogba, Fernandes; Sancho, Rashford, Cavani.