How did Manchester United fare in 2023-24 Premier League season

How did Manchester United fare in 2023-24 Premier League season

Thirteen-time Premier League winners Manchester United have had a season to forget, as the English heavyweights, known for always fighting for silverware, have been a shadow of themselves this campaign.

With disappointing results supported especially by an unexplainable amount of injuries to first-team players, Afrosport reviews the 2023–24 Premier League season for the Old Trafford outfit, who would be looking to hastily get this campaign out of the way.


Overall Review

United entered this season with lots of hopes, having enjoyed a good outing in the preceding season, where they won a title and got themselves back into the prestigious UEFA Champions League.

New signings were made, including bringing in young Danish forward Rasmus Hojlund and Three Lions of England midfielder Mason Mount from rival Chelsea.

However, the season has clearly not gone the way they envisaged, with United on course for their worst finish in the Premier League era, as their current eighth position is one spot lower than the 2013-14 season, when they finished 7th under the tutelage of David Moyes.

They could also finish with their lowest points tally in the Premier League era, as their 57 points are currently lower than the 58 points they managed in the 2021–22 season.

United also let in 57 goals in the 2021–22 season, setting a new record for goals conceded. However, that record has already been broken this season (58 goals), despite playing one less game so far.

The Manchester side, with 13 losses so far, also set a new record for the number of defeats in a single Premier League season, surpassing their previous record of 12.

Unsung Hero

Kobbie Mainoo

With a team of United’s pedigree, established players are always expected to turn in top-class performances week in and out. However, that hasn’t been the case this season, as one of the few bright sparks in the team that has struggled all season is teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

Mainoo, who made his Premier League debut last season, is surely among the few top performers the Red Devils have had this season. The 19-year-old has played different roles in midfield for the side, and he currently boasts three goals and one assist in 24 league matches, including scoring two world-class goals against Wolves and Liverpool.

His match-winning stoppage time strike against Wolves won him the Premier League Goal of the Month Award in February. Additionally, he got called up to the England senior side for his national team debut, and his excellent showing has helped him get nominated for the Young Player of the Season Award.


Erik Ten Hag

United finished a disappointing 2021–22 season in sixth place in the Premier League, and a change was evidently needed, forcing them to bring in Dutch tactician Erik Ten Hag, who had enjoyed immense success with Eredivisie side Ajax.

Ten Hag immediately turned the tide around for the Red Devils, leading them to a third-place finish last season while also winning the Carabao Cup—the team’s first title in six years—as well as just missing out on the FA Cup after losing the final to neighbouring Manchester City.

The Dutch manager was expected to build on his debut season success, but that hasn’t been the case as he has failed to maintain the same standards he attained a year ago.

With talks of a possible sacking on the cards for Ten Hag, who has surprisingly continued to get the backing of match-going fans, he must find a way to finish the season on a high as another shot at FA Cup glory has been provided with their final against City.


Possible areas for reinforcement

According to reports, a huge clearout is expected at the Theatre of Dreams this season, with the new co-owners looking to revamp the squad as well as the backroom office.

The team has struggled this season, primarily due to the number of unprecedented injuries they have had to deal with, especially in defence, where Ten Hag has had to make use of 14 different center-back pairings in the Premier League this season.

With Raphael Varane’s exit already confirmed, as well as some other possible exits, the Red Devils need to bring in new defenders in both the centre-back and full-back positions.

They also need to let go of the aging legs in their midfield and replace them with young and technically-gifted players, as they conceded a lot of goals from cutbacks due to their midfielders’ inability to cover the ground.

A new centre forward should be brought in, as should wingers and wide forwards, whether or not any of their current options decide to leave.

Tactical selection options

Start One: Lisandro Martinez

Bench One:  Harry Maguire

Sell One: Victor Lindelof

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