What is Manchester United’s best starting XI?

With the January transfer window approaching, what is David Moyes’ ideal starting side and where does he need to strengthen?

Manchester United are a club in transition after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement at the end of last season.

The legendary Scot has been replaced by countryman David Moyes, who has seemingly yet to decide what his best starting XI is.

If everyone was fit and available, here is what I believe to be the best Manchester United starting XI, in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

GK – David De Gea

LB – Patrice Evra

RB – Rafael

CB – Nemanja Vidic

CB – Jonny Evans

DM – Phil Jones

DM – Michael Carrick

LM – Adnan Januzaj

RM – Shinji Kagawa

AM – Wayne Rooney

ST – Robin van Persie

There are a number of selection dilemmas for the United manager, and some areas where he would surely want more comprehensive options.

At centre-half, Rio Ferdinand is starting to show the signs of age, and as such Jonny Evans is an excellent option to be given a run in the side.

In central midfield, Phil Jones has shown the ability to be an enforcer, and at the moment is a better option than Marouane Fellaini. Michael Carrick alongside him is United’s best passing midfielder.

On the wings, Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young have all had inconsistent form, with Adnan Januzaj an exciting prospect and the wideman with the most influence currently.

Although Shinji Kagawa would prefer to play in the number ten role, his creative abilities and movement off the ball offer something superior to the other contenders for a spot on the wing.

In attack, getting Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie together on the pitch will be key for United this term, while Danny Welbeck is an excellent option to deputise anywhere along the forward line or on a wing.

So where do United need to strengthen?

The pursuit of Everton’s Leighton Baines is likely to recommence in January, and the England international would be an upgrade on Patrice Evra currently.

A lack of an energetic, box-to-box midfielder is something that has stopped United playing expansive football and has led to an over-reliance on Rooney. Someone like Ivan Rakitic or Yohan Cabaye is needed to give Moyes more options in the centre of the park.

image: © Paolo Camera

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