Three players who can inspire Man United to the title
Kieran Beckles picks three players who can help Manchester United win the Premier League this season
Manchester United finally have a striker capable of intimidating opposition defences again. Not since Robin van Persie’s title-winning performances under Sir Alex Ferguson have the Red Devils had a centre-forward whose shadow leaves visiting teams quaking. Anthony Martial made a wonderful impact last season but as is to be expected from a 20-year-old striker, the France international lacked consistency. Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 34 but the Swedish legend arrives with a reputation for firing teams to titles (Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 – to name just a few). If the former AC Milan and Barcelona forward can get close to his 38 goals in the Ligue 1 last term then United have a fighting chance of winning a first Premier League title since 2013.
David De Gea
David De Gea has been the shining light in the dark days of the post-Ferguson era. Winning back-to-back United player of the year titles was justified reward for his excellent performances, but De Gea’s world-class form merits more illustrious trophies. Under Mourinho, the Spain international should benefit from a well-drilled and more consistent back four. The 25-year-old won his first Premier League crown in 2013 and De Gea will be key to United ending their current drought.
Mourinho’s most influential signing of the summer could prove to be Henrikh Mkhitaryan. While Eric Bailly should reinforce an already solid United defence and Ibrahimovic add firepower up front, Louis van Gaal’s side really struggled with creativity in midfield. The Armenia international’s stats even manage to overshadow Mesut Ozil’s exploits for Arsenal in the Premier League last season. With the versatility to play in a central role behind the lead striker or out wide, Mkhitaryan’s influence should prove vital in United’s bid to end a three-year Premier League title drought.