Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin could force these Manchester United stars out of the starting lineup

Carrick

There are likely to be plenty of disappointed midfield players in the squad come the first game of Manchester United's season.

Manchester United's recent midfield signings leave the club with a large number of expensively acquired, high profile central midfielders. So who are most at risk from missing out?

The answer is, pretty much every player that featured in central areas last season. Though it was a campaign that had just as many disappointing moments as it did positive ones, midfield was an area that once it was settled, coming up to Easter, the club went on their impressive run of six consecutive wins.

Depending on the formation Louis van Gaal employs, United could either end up with the likes of Depay, Di Maria and Mata playing wide, or playing as more central attacking midfielders. Of course, having strength in depth is a positive for the Old Trafford outfit, but with these five players below all enjoying regular starts last season, the arrivals from Bayern Munich, Southampton, and Memphis Depay from PSV, will make the midfield positions even more contested.

Ander Herrera - Last summer's big central midfield signing may see it as somewhat of a lack of confidence Van Gaal has in him that two such expensive, top class midfielders were brought in just a year later. The Spaniard really improved in the second half of the season, starting the club's final 13 games and linking up superbly with Juan Mata on the right side of the pitch. If Herrera was to be benched now, and there is a real danger that he will be the man to miss out, all of that confidence building form could be undone.

Marouane Fellaini - Going from a figure derided as the embodiment of David Moyes' reign at Old Trafford, to a player regularly used by Van Gaal as an attacking threat, doesn't save Fellaini from being one of the players most at risk from the midfield arrivals. The Belgian actually had his third best season in English football in terms of goals, but could be reduced to an impact substitute in an attacking role rather than getting the starts he managed in the 2014/15.

Ashley Young - Former Aston Villa winger Young was one of the major success stories last season under Van Gaal, as the 30-year-old made a big return to form that made him one of the club's most potent attacking weapons, as well as keeping out Angel Di Maria for much of the campaign. He and the Argentine are two of the few players with genuine pace in midfield, but he will be at risk if for example Schweinsteiger gets pushed up into a more attacking role.

Michael Carrick - Carrick has been a manager's dream for whichever boss he has played under, and it's no difference under Van Gaal. But the reality is that in signing Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, United now have two more playmakers that can do his job, albeit from a more advanced position in the German's case. Schneiderlin may in fact be Carrick's eventual successor, and considering the latter's injury problems last season, could end up relegating the former Spurs man to a backup position if he makes a smooth transition to Old Trafford.

Daley Blind - The Dutchman may well start the campaign at left back considering Luke Shaw's ongoing injury problems, but if United were ever blessed with a fully fit squad, Blind may be hard pushed to secure a midfield spot, a role he regularly, and at times struggled to, fulfil last season. He's a Van Gaal favourite, but the 25-year-old could be in danger of becoming somewhat of a utility player.

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