Man United player ratings: Martial, Herrera and more – quarter-season report

Anthony Martial and David De Gea get top grades in our quarter-season report on Man United squad

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Goalkeepers

David De Gea David De Gea missed the first four games of the Premier League season but he slotted seamlessly into his role as Manchester United’s superman between the goalposts. The Spain international has been flawless again this season. He can take great pride in five successive clean sheets. United have the Premier League’s best defensive record, too. A

Sergio Romero The summer signing was solid in the opening three Premier League games of the season. For that brief spell, it looked like De Gea’s touted transfer to Real Madrid wouldn’t be as big a blow as anticipated. However, Sergio Romero’s performance dipped in a 2-1 loss to Swansea City. He hasn’t featured in the Premier League since that defeat. C+

Defenders

Chris Smalling One of the surprise packages of the Premier League season so far. Yes, we knew Chris Smalling was good – you have to be of a certain standard to play for United. But the England defender has justifiably earned comparisons to Steve Bruce such has been the commanding nature of his performances. A

Daley Blind The versatile Netherlands international formed an unlikely centre-half partnership with Smalling in the opening weeks of the season. His quality was obvious as he slotted into an orthodox role and was comfortable. However, he has been filled a variety of different positions in recent months. B

Phil Jones He made a brief return to the United side before he missed a couple of games due to an injury niggle. The England centre-half made his second comeback last month. Whether he can form a strong partnership with Smalling over the coming months will something to keep an eye on. C

Marcos Rojo The Argentina international has played at centre-half and left-back this term. Injury to Luke Shaw has seen Marcos Rojo deployed on the left side of the defence in the past couple of months. To his credit, he has been solid. B-

Luke Shaw The former Southampton defender returned from pre-season in top shape and looked like producing the sort of form that earned him a move to Old Trafford from St Mary’s. However, a cruel leg break means we won’t see Shaw until next term. B

Matteo Darmian The Italy full-back slotted into the United side without putting a foot wrong. However, Matteo Darmian’s performances dipped in recent months which left the door ajar for Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard to challenge for the right-back spot. C

Paddy McNair Aside from a brief appearance at Southampton, Paddy McNair has spent most of the season warming the bench. D

Midfielders

Bastian Schweinsteiger The World Cup winner has restored some X-Factor to Old Trafford. Loved as much for his social media posts as his passing ability, Bastian Schweinsteiger has been a welcome addition to the United squad. However, he isn’t the same midfielder that dominated opponents at Bayern. B-

Michael Carrick Could time be catching up on Michael Carrick? The 33-year-old suffered an injury setback with England on Friday. He has partnered Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin this season. He has been solid when called upon, although his passing has been at its metronomic best. C

Morgan Schneiderlin The France international secured his much-desired big-money move in the summer. He has been rotated along with Carrick and Schweinsteiger. The 26-year-old has brought some energy to the United midfielder, although perhaps isn’t quite the creative force that Louis van Gaal needs. B-

Marouane Fellaini Marouane Fellaini played a key role in Van Gaal’s side in the back end of the 2014/15 season. However, after serving his three-game ban at the start of the campaign, the towering midfielder has barely featured. C-

Ander Herrera The uncapped Spanish midfielder has been a feature of the United in recent weeks. Ander Herrera has looked capable of providing the Red Devils with a much-needed spark in an otherwise predictable midfield. Still, he can look a little lightweight for the Premier League at times. C+

Jesse Lingard Like Smalling a surprise package for United, but for different reasons. The England Under-21 international has secured a spot in Van Gaal’s side in recent weeks at right-back thanks to his energy and vigour. He capped a superb run in the first-team with a brilliant first United goal against West Brom. B+

Juan Mata The Spain international kicked off the season in fine form. The £37.1m signing scored four goals and made four assists in his opening nine Premier League games. However, he has struggled to maintain his high standards. B-

Ashley Young Ashley Young has a done a decent job when called upon by Van Gaal. However, his recent dive against CSKA Moscow left pundits and supporters infuriated. C

Antonio Valencia The Ecuador international has made a flurry of appearances on the right. However, mirroring most of his United career, his pace is undermined by his poor final ball. C-

Memphis Depay The biggest disappointment for United this season, although some may argue Wayne Roonery’s form has overshadowed the Dutch winger. Memphis Depay arrived at Old Trafford amid much fanfare after helping PSV Eindhoven win the Eredivisie title. So far, he hasn’t delivered, aside from some decent goals in the Champions League. C-

Strikers

Wayne Rooney The United captain hasn’t found his goal-scoring touch. The signs were ominous on the opening day of the season when Kyle Walker spared Wayne Rooney’s blushes after the striker’s heavy touch almost squandered a great chance. Fortunately, the Spurs defender put the ball into his own net. A return of two goals in 11 Premier League games means there is plenty of room for improvement. C-

Anthony Martial The player of the season for United so far, eclipsing even De Gea. The £36m summer signing has delivered the excitement that United supporters have been craving in the stands. After initial scepticism, there is no doubt Anthony Martial is a genuine talent. A

James Wilson The United youngster has made one substitute appearance in a disappointing campaign so far. James Wilson doesn’t appear to be on Van Gaal’s radar. D

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