There has been recent talk of Manchester United’s golden generation coming to an end but could a new one be in development at Old Trafford?
After what was, most would agree, an average season in terms of performances last season, the new campaign has already promised to be a vast improvement for the reds. Although the champions won the Premier League and only lost out to Barcelona in the Champions League final last season, they often struggled with inconsistency away from Old Trafford.
Sir Alex’s men had to grind out far more results than they’d have liked, with them often having to comeback from behind. Although some things haven’t changed, the squad has had an injection of young talent with loanees returning and three new summer signings. Four players featured for England earlier in the summer during the Under-21 European Championships while new signing David De Dea kept goal for winners, Spain.
With Phil Jones from Blackburn, Ashley Young from Aston Villa and De Gea moving from Athletico Madrid, this completes Sir Alex’s signings thus far this summer.
Young, who looked as though he’d been playing for the club for years yesterday, created United’s first goal. Jones came on in the second half and gave a strong performance on his début partnering fellow youngster Johnny Evans in central defence. De Gea made the mistake for Manchester City’s second goal but it looks as though the 20-year-old can make a real impact in England after admitting his games suits the English style of play.
Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Mame Biram Diouf have returned from successful loan spells in the Premiership and, with Federico Macheda returning from half a season with Sampdoria, this adds to the talented youngsters already at the club.
The squad already has a feel of being much stronger and larger than last season even after influential departures including Van der Sar, Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves. The midfield which was once seen to be lightweight now consists of Darren Fletcher, Antonio Valencia, Darron Gibson, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Nani, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung, Ryan Giggs and Anderson. Also with Wesley Sneijder recently quoted as saying “Inter need money and I’m for sale if there are clubs willing to pay the right price", the speculation linking the Dutchman to Old Trafford will only grow stronger.
The squad has a core of British players which is important for the development of future young talent while also knowing what it means to play in the Premiership and understanding rivalries between clubs. Welbeck and Cleverley have both been called up to the England squad to face Holland next weekend along with team-mates Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Rio Ferdinand which can only further their development.
So, as the new season approaches, Manchester United look to once again be the team to beat with clever buys and dynamic young talent which are set to thrill on the biggest stage. If the reds can improve on there league form from last season, title number 20 will surely be another addition to the clubs already impressive honours.