It is pretty difficult to project how Manchester United’s starting XI will look when next season kicks off in early August.
So in the interests of making a difficult task even trickier, we set ourselves the challenge of predicting how Manchester United will line up in 2025, hopefully still under Erik ten Hag.
In three years time United will have had plenty of opportunity to ship out the deadwood and unwanted players, with Ten Hag creating a side which is undeniably his.
Several of Manchester United’s 2022 FA Youth Cup winners will also be ready to make the step up too, making this predicted XI a real mix of new signings and youth talent.
Predicted Manchester United XI in 2025 under Erik ten Hag
By 2025 we hope Ten Hag will have really found his feet, with several of his transfer gambles paying off. The best way to go through this is position by position…
GK: Dean Henderson: This one could be quite quickly ruled out if Henderson is sold this summer. But our prediction is for Henderson to head out on loan, and eventually prove himself. By 2023 or 2024, David de Gea will have been phased out. Henderson will want to stay on United’s books for this moment, to seize his chance.
LB: Alvaro Fernandez: Goodbye Luke Shaw, this is Alvaro Fernandez’s time. Manchester United’s under-23 player of the year this past season, Fernandez is an assist machine and loves to get forward. He is the type of young talent Erik ten Hag loves working with and by 2025, he could have made the position his own.
CB: Jurrien Timber: Even if it may take until next summer, Ten Hag will bring in Jurrien Timber from Ajax eventually. The Dutchman is an outstanding talent, who is quick, reads the game well, and won Ajax’s Talent of the Year award this past season. He will be one of two new centre-backs transforming United’s defence.
CB: Pau Torres: The Villarreal centre-back is the defender we expect Ten Hag to sign this summer, possibly followed by Timber in 2023. Together the pairing will phase out Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane. Torres will be 28 in 2025, hitting his peak.
RB: Tariq Lamptey: We are tipping Erik ten Hag to turn his attention to Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey to address a problem position for the club. Again, this could be a deal which takes place in 2023, rather than this summer. Lamptey is an attacking full-back, and together with Fernandez on the other side, United will look like a different team going forward.
DM: Declan Rice: The importance of a defensive midfielder is essential and we foresee Manchester United landing Declan Rice, eventually, just not this summer. Rice’s contract at West Ham expires in 2025, and at some stage before then, even if it takes until 2024, his price tag will dip to a reasonable level. At this point we expect Manchester United to pounce.
CM: Kobbie Mainoo: One of Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup stars, Kobbie Mainoo has the potential to be a complete midfielder. He made his under-23 debut at just 16, and recently signed his first professional contract. There are big hopes for Mainoo, and by 2025 he should have cracked United’s first team.
AM: Isak Hansen-Aaroen: Another star of United’s Youth Cup win, Isak Hansen-Aaroen looks destined to be a superstar. The Norwegian is an outstanding talent, with real quality on the ball, comfortable passing, dribbling past an opponent, and creating danger around the opposition box. Think of a more attacking version of Luka Modric.
LW: Alejandro Garnacho: Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo regen, Alejandro Garnacho was the top scorer of the Red Devil’s Youth Cup run. The Argentine international has already made his first team debut at 17, and by time 2025 hits, he could have blossomed into a top tier talent.
RW: Jadon Sancho: Jadon Sancho’s talent should win out, and ensure he is still a first team regular. Able to switch wings with Garnacho, the England international has huge potential and by 2025 he should be producing his Dortmund numbers with regularity, as Erik ten Hag manages to make him tick. Hopefully it happens a lot earlier.
ST: Darwin Nunez: Manchester United are looking for a top striker this summer who can alternate with Cristiano Ronaldo, with a view that by 2025, he will be the main main. Darwin Nunez fits the criteria, he is only 22 now, and has a fantastic eye for goal. With the talent in the team around him, he will be even more dangerous.