The £491million likely Manchester United line-up in opening Premier League fixture vs Leeds

 Man Utd open their Premier League campaign vs Leeds United on August 14. Here's how they are likely to line up.


The 24-year-old impressed after coming in for De Gea following the 30-year-old's return to Spain on paternity leave in March, but experienced something of a slump towards the back end of the campaign and De Gea lined up in the Europa League final.

Henderson practically had the summer off after withdrawing from the England squad following their first Euros game against Croatia through injury, and although he is still on the recovery trail, he should return fresher from a prolonged rest.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka - £50million

United want to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid to provide competition for Wan-Bissaka, and although there is confidence within the Trippier camp that that deal will go through, the former Crystal Palace defender will likely start the campaign at right-back.

Wan-Bissaka's lack of involvement at an international tournament this summer means he has already been back at Carrington for a while now and should be in perfect condition to line up against Leeds.

Should Trippier arrive to compete with him, Wan-Bissaka knows he'll have a job on his hands to keep his place in the team as the season goes on.

Harry Maguire - £80million

Maguire's detractors have at the £80million fee United paid to prise him away from Leicester for much of the two years since that transfer went through. But his stock has risen dramatically since an ankle injury he sustained towards the back end of last season exposed how shaky United's defence is without him.

United conceded four at home to Liverpool and lost the Europa League final without him, and after missing England's opening two games at the Euros he earned a place in the team of the tournament ahead of Giorgio Chiellini.

Raphael Varane - £50million

Varane is one of two players in this team who is not yet officially a United player, but the club are continuing to make progress on a deal to sign the world champion and four-time Champions League winner.

Sources told the MEN United are 'inching closer every day' towards finalising a deal for the 28-year-old, with personal terms understood to have been productive and Varane expecting to become a United player this summer.


The MEN reported last month United were working on a £50million package to bring Varane to United and believe that is reasonable, despite Madrid valuing the player at closer to £80million. There is scant chance of them receiving such a sum, given Varane's willingness to leave and the fact his contract in the Spanish capital will expire next June.

Luke Shaw - £30million

Shaw's career revival has been nothing short of remarkable and he is now rightly regarded as one of the world's elite full-backs.

The defender's struggles under Jose Mourinho are well documented, but under Solskjaer and Gareth Southgate with United and England respectively, he has thrived with a newer breed of man-manager.

As recently as last year he was being written off, with his display in United's New Year's Day loss at Arsenal coming in for criticism at around the same time Brandon Williams was emerging, but Shaw has since swotted away competition first from Williams and then from last summer's deadline day signing Alex Telles to make the left-back berth his own.

Fred - £52million

If you didn't keep abreast of the Copa America happenings, Fred's inclusion here over Scott McTominay might surprise you. But he started in every game for Brazil as they reached the final - aside from in the dead rubber group match against Ecuador after the Selecao had already qualified for the last eight.

He lined up in a pivot alongside Casemiro for many of the games, and that is a system he is used to playing in at club level at United alongside McTominay, but United shouldn't need two holders at home to Leeds in front of a packed Old Trafford and Fred's summer exploits should get him the nod ahead of the Scot.

Paul Pogba - £89million

Pogba is into the final year of his contract at United and although his future is yet to be resolved, United have not received any serious enquiries about signing the midfielder this summer. Pogba, 28, has sought to leave United on a number of occasions but his family is happy in Cheshire should a move not materialise before the window closes.

United looked as though they were about to put together an unlikely title charge in January last season and Pogba's mid-season form was vital to that, as he scored back-to-back midweek winners against Burnley and Fulham.

The muscle injury he sustained against Everton at the beginning of February signalled the beginning of the end of that briefest of challenges. He was less influential upon his return but contributed a winner at the San Siro before enjoying a good European Championship on a personal level despite France exiting early.

Bruno Fernandes - £67million

Fernandes signed for United for an initial £47million with around another £20million in add-ons. However much they end up paying, they got themselves a bargain.

The Portuguese directly contributed to 45 goals last season - scoring 28 and assisting 17 more - and although he struggled during the Euros, he is certain to start United's season opener, fitness permitting.

Mason Greenwood - free

The third academy product in this team, Mason Greenwood is another who should have benefitted from having the summer off. He has been a regular in and around United's first team for a couple of years and this summer represented his first real break from senior football having withdrawn from England's Euro 2020 squad due to an unspecified injury.

Marcus Rashford's expected two-month lay-off should ensure Greenwood starts on the right flank against Leeds, with impending summer signing Jadon Sancho operating off the left and Edinson Cavani through the middle.


Edinson Cavani - free

Anthony Martial is yet to return to training following the knee injury he sustained with France several months ago, and even if he was fit he wouldn't be starting United's season opener.

Cavani finished last season with 10 goals in 11 games for United, including the equaliser in the Europa League final, and should lead the line from the outset.

Jadon Sancho - £73million

Sancho's involvement at Euro 2020 didn't go as he might've liked. He started only once and was then among the penalty takers who missed in the final defeat by Italy.

That won't be on the minds of any United fan come August 14, though, after seeing United finally land their man following three previous failed attempts.

Sancho scored 50 goals and registered 64 assists in 137 appearances for Borussia Dortmund and will certainly add the element of creativity that has been lacking in United's forward line in recent years.

FULL TEAM

Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Fernandes, Pogba; Greenwood, Sancho, Cavani

Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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