For the 2017/18 season we’ve decided to introduce our own ‘power-ranking’ system on the Manchester United squad using a variety of information and the evidence of our own eyes. Do you agree with our five who impressed in the opening week?
1. Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba scored the last goal of the game, he attempted six dribbles, and made two key passes, attempting three through balls. He was successful with 87% of his passes, too. Pogba was too often under-rated last season as a number of his efforts hit the woodwork and too many of his clever passes went unrewarded by his team-mate’s inability to finish. The Frenchman is crucial to United’s capability of dominating games and started the season in promising fashion.
2. Nemanja Matic
The truth is that you could flip a coin for MVP because it’s a fair argument that without Matic, Pogba wouldn’t be free to cause the havoc he did, and perhaps when Pogba has his quieter days, Matic will be spending some time on the top of this particular tree. He completed 86% of his passes, made two tackles, one interception and one clearance and incredibly attempted seven dribbles. The formidable midfielder looks to have immediately transformed his new side.
3. Marcus Rashford
While everyone wants a shiny new toy, this youngster who only broke into the first team at the start of last year gave a reminder of how important his pace is. Rashford was a great outlet, stretching the game, and proving a constant menace for defenders. He hit the woodwork and might have done better with another effort but he did at least provide the assist for the opener. Few players in the league provide the sort of penetration Marcus does – the man who replaced him on the day being one of them – but Rashford did enough to stay in the side next week. Whether or not he does…
4. Romelu Lukaku
One man who will definitely start at Swansea will be Lukaku. It is one thing to say that a good striker would score goals in this side but as last season proved, it doesn’t necessarily mean United will score all the goals they should. Two goals speak for themselves but the way Lukaku worked to bring his team-mates into the game, with three key passes of his own, was very impressive.
5. Phil Jones
Henrikh Mkhitaryan might grumble that his two assists don’t earn him a place here but special mention must go to Phil Jones, who was United’s most impressive defender yesterday at a time when he is fighting for his first team spot. Jones is the beneficiary of Victor Lindelof’s surprising omission which means he has a place to fight for. With 92% of his passes successful, two tackles, three interceptions and four clearances, he was the outstanding defender, and for that, he deserves a place at number five.