How Ten Hag will set out his Man Utd XI this season with host of options after £179million transfer spree | The Sun

ERIK TEN HAG has got the Premier League and his own fans second-guessing as to how he will line up this season.

The flexibility of his squad has given him a myriad of options not least with the arrival of £60million man Mason Mount.

Now with a recognised striker in Rasmus Hojlund up front, they have the extra potency that was missing from last season when they were the lowest scorers in the top six.

The first choice back four pretty much picks itself with the only real battle between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot at right back.

The calmness of Raphael Varane and the tenacity of Lisandro Martinez has proved to be a great combination in the centre of defence with Victor Lindelof an able deputy.

Luke Shaw meanwhile has returned to his best from on the left under Ten Hag.


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It is in midfield where the options come, depending on opponents and situations in games.

Casemiro will be the one consistent sitting in front of the back four.

But there are three options as to who sits with him, if he always needs someone at all.

For example in the pre-season friendly against Lens he was there on his own as Ten Hag switched to 4-1-4-1 which allowed Mount to operate alongside Bruno Fernandes further forward.

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That is a positive option with Antony and Marcus Rashford wide and Hojlund up front when he is available.

Mount can also drop deeper alongside Casemiro with the license to bomb forward when the situation presents itself.

Of course last season Fernandes dropped deeper on occasions into a quarter-back role which he operated well in.

That would then allow Mount to be the number ten.

Let's not forget Christian Eriksen who had such a good first season at the club alongside Casemiro.

If Ten Hag can get the best out of Jadon Sancho there is another option.

He will operate wide at the start of the season with Rashford as a number nine.

But in pre-season Sancho was also used as a false nine which the manager felt worked well.

One big difference this season will be how United build their moves up from the back.

David de Gea has gone and Andre Onana has arrived in his place as much for his ball-playing abilities out from the back.

He will be much higher up the pitch as a sweeper-keeper, like Ederson at Manchester City when the ball is in the opponent's half.

He will be ready to pounce if the ball breaks towards him and immediately set moves going again to add an extra urgency to the side.

It promises to be an exciting ride this season with Ten Hag insistent that he has the right foundations now to aim higher than last season’s third spot.

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The Carabao Cup win gave the squad extra confidence, while the FA Cup Final suggested how far away they remain from Manchester City.

But with plenty of aces in that pack he now has to shuffle prepare for a title tilt this time around.

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