Manchester United's strongest XI with Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Manchester United to bolster the team’s chances of winning silverware.

Ronaldo boosts United’s attacking options – and also makes selection decisions quite complicated for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United’s forward options are insanely strong and trying to select the club’s strongest XI is a tough task.

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Below we take a look at United’s potential best XI for 2021/22, before digging into the a ridiculously strong ‘second-choice XI’.


The defence largely picks itself with Raphael Varane partnering Harry Maguire.

David de Gea has earned the number one jersey right now and is selected in goal.

Marcus Rashford is included after a strong output across the past two seasons, scoring 43 goals combined.

This pushes Paul Pogba into a deeper midfield role, with Fred dropping out.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the line with Mason Greenwood on the right. Jadon Sancho may be able to force his way in on either side – but right now he has to prove himself first.

Serious strength in depth

Sancho slots in on the right-wing below as part of a front three with Edinson Cavani leading the line and Anthony Martial on the left.

This is a dangerous trio, stronger than many first choice front threes United have lined up with over the past few years.

In midfield Jesse Lingard takes Bruno Fernandes’ spot, supported by Fred and Donny van de Beek.

United have options in defence too, with Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot, with Dean Henderson in goal.

Who is left over for a third choice XI?

United still have an array of talented players not part of the first choice XI.

With the addition of a handful of talented academy players, we have been able to put together a third choice XI.

With full-backs Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird out on loan, along with Axel Tuanzebe, and midfielder James Garner, we have had to shift formation around and promote under-23s talent Charlie Savage.

But there are a host of players with first team experience including Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Phil Jones, Amad, Shola Shoretire and Anthony Elanga, plus goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

United can no longer complain of a lack of strength in depth, perhaps only in midfield. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will do well to keep everybody happy.

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