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Manchester United to Adopt More Attacking 4-3-3 Next Season

19 July 2021 | Opinion
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Manchester United to Adopt More Attacking 4-3-3 Next Season
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With the conclusion of the European Championship and Copa America, plus the start of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, thoughts are beginning to turn to the new English Premier League season.

Manchester United are close to securing the signing of Jadon Sancho and there have been strong rumours for weeks linking them with a move for French international central defender, Raphael Varane.

Kieran Trippier is also heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford and the England international is likely to share right-back duties with Aaron Wan-Bissaka next season, giving Manchester United strength in depth in that position.

In addition to the transfer news, there are reports emerging from the Manchester United camp that manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is planning to adopt a more attacking 4-3-3 formation next season.

During his reign at Old Trafford, the Norwegian has been happy to employ two defensive midfield players in his team, often pairing  Scott McTominay and Fred. However, that could be about to change for the 2021/22 campaign and Solskjaer could play with just one defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 system.

Therefore, only one of McTominay and Fred will be in the starting XI at any one time and that will leave two forward thinking midfield positions in the team. Bruno Fernandes is sure to take up one of those positions and Paul Pogba the other, if he remains at Manchester United this season. If Pogba was to leave the club, Donny van de Beek could come into the team having endured a frustrating start to his Manchester United career last season.

With Jadon Sancho taking up one of the wide attacking positions, Edinson Cavani is likely to begin the campaign as the central striker but cannot play the whole season without rest periods. Mason Greenwood will be used in both the wide and central attacking positions along with Marcus Rashford, who will miss the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury.

Daniel James and Amad are the other two options for the wide attacking positions and both are expected to feature throughout the season, all be it not as first choice.

The potential addition of Varane in central defence could be one of the key reasons why Solskjaer is willing to play more attacking football. Manchester United have lacked pace in the central defence area and the World Cup winner would solve that problem.

With Harry Maguire having enjoyed a superb European Championship, the Englishman is sure to retain his place in central defence and coupled with Varane, the pair have a great reading of the game, coupled with plenty of experience at the highest level.

That could mean the end for Victor Lindelöf or Eric Bailly, with at least one of the defenders sure to move on if Varane joins the club. Due to his injury proneness, it could be Bailly who makes the move, with Lindelöf remaining at Old Trafford.

There is no doubt the switch to 4-3-3 will lead to more attacking football but it could all hinge on the deal for Varane.

Major League Soccer Eastern Conference
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1
New England Revolution 36 17 11 3 3 33 21 12
2
Orlando City SC 28 16 8 4 4 26 21 5
3
Nashville SC 27 16 6 9 1 25 15 10
4
New York City FC 26 15 8 2 5 30 16 14
5
Philadelphia Union 25 17 6 7 4 21 17 4
6
Columbus Crew 24 16 6 6 4 17 16 1
7
Montreal Impact 22 16 6 4 6 21 20 1
8
DC United 21 16 6 3 7 21 18 3
9
New York Red Bulls 18 15 5 3 7 20 20 0
10
Atlanta United 14 16 2 8 6 16 21 -5
11
Toronto FC 14 16 3 5 8 21 33 -12
12
FC Cincinnati 14 15 3 5 7 17 29 -12
13
Chicago Fire 13 16 3 4 9 18 28 -10
14
Inter Miami CF 12 14 3 3 8 12 24 -12
Major League Soccer Western Conference
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1
Seattle Sounders 32 17 9 5 3 25 13 12
2
Sporting Kansas City 30 16 9 3 4 29 19 10
3
Los Angeles Galaxy 28 16 9 1 6 27 27 0
4
Colorado Rapids 27 15 8 3 4 22 16 6
5
Los Angeles FC 23 16 6 5 5 22 19 3
6
Minnesota United 23 16 6 5 5 19 21 -2
7
Real Salt Lake 21 15 5 6 4 24 16 8
8
Portland Timbers 19 15 6 1 8 19 26 -7
9
Houston Dynamo 18 16 3 9 4 17 20 -3
10
FC Dallas 17 16 4 5 7 20 24 -4
11
San Jose Earthquakes 17 16 4 5 7 18 25 -7
12
Vancouver Whitecaps 15 16 3 6 7 18 27 -9
13
Austin FC 13 15 3 4 8 10 16 -6

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