There is a fresh feel about Manchester United heading into the final few months after the season.
The players are rested up, there are new faces in the squad, and key players are returning from injury.
There is potential for United to experiment with new combinations which may help the team find a new level.
Even discounting long-term absentees Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, there are new partnerships Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff can experiment with. Here is a look at five of them…
Odion Ighalo and Anthony Martial
It has become clear Anthony Martial needs help up front and Odion Ighalo’s arrival is perfectly timed.
The Nigerian striker has shown he can succeed as part of a duo, thriving for Watford previously alongside Troy Deeney.
He can take the pressure off Martial and allow him greater freedom to drift wide.
Having Martial alongside him will aid Ighalo too, with the Nigerian desperate to make the most of his dream Old Trafford loan move.
Axel Tuanzebe and Harry Maguire
United got a brief look at this partnership earlier in the season, and it looked promising.
Tuanzebe’s season has since been wrecked by injury, he has played just six minutes in the Premier League since October.
He has been back training with the first team squad and has a chance to try and displace Victor Lindelöf.
If is very possible they end up playing as a back three, with Solskjaer shifting his formation around.
Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire
What if we could get the Eric Bailly of 2016/17 back? The Ivorian needs to remind everybody why United persist with him amid his injury problems.
At the top of his game, Bailly could be better than both Lindelöf and Tuanzebe.
United have to give him a serious go alongside Maguire and let them try to work it out. Again, Bailly could find himself playing in a back three.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot
United have two very credible right-back options and there is a way to play them both.
Dalot has the attributes to play as a winger and United showed a willingness to experiment with him there at the end of last season.
Wan-Bissaka could line up at right-back and Dalot on the wing and they could form a very talented partnership on the right side for United.
Dalot is a good crosser of the ball and despite his critics, Wan-Bissaka is improving in this area too. The Portuguese ace could take the pressure off the £50 million man.
Scott McTominay, Fred, and Bruno Fernandes
Could this become United’s best midfield trio? McTominay and Fred established a quality partnership themselves in the first half of the season.
They were key to big wins over City and Tottenham in December. Now with Bruno Fernandes in front of them, the midfield can reach a new level.
Fernandes isn’t afraid to drop in and get stuck in too, as he showed against Wovles, and the trio could complement each other well.
Nemanja Matic will have say too, as will Paul Pogba upon his return, but this trio of players is guaranteed to be at United next season and deserve a run together to strike up a connection.
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