Robin van Persie to Manchester United: Predicting Red Devils Lineup with RVP
With Robin van Persie going to Manchester United, the lineup will be much different.
According to Arsenal's official website, the Gunners have agreed to send their star striker to United, making the Red Devils a favorite to win the league. Van Persie will change their roster slightly, but more importantly, he will improve the effectiveness of their attack.
Even if United can stay healthy, Sir Alex Ferguson will tweak his lineup on a regular basis. However, this is likely how the team will look once the van Persie deal is finalized.
GK: David de Gea
David de Gea needs to be more consistent this season.
He had some spectacular moments last year, but he can't always rely on his athleticism. He needs to make the simple saves, and he must avoid any sort of howlers.
Manchester United are too good to have an error-prone goalkeeper, which is why de Gea needs to build off his good performances last year and become an elite keeper.
LB: Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra is slowly becoming a Manchester United legend.
The French international has accumulated nearly 300 appearances for United in all competitions, and he doesn't show many signs of slowing down. He can do just about everything at the left-back position, and Sir Alex Ferguson loves being able to rely on the left side of his defense.
Until Evra starts looking a little slow, this spot is his.
CB: Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidic is still one of the best defenders in the world.
Even though he missed most of last season, Vidic will still make a difference for Manchester United. He is their unquestioned leader in the back, and he is able to stop any attacking player in the world.
It will be interesting to see if he looks a step slow or timid early in the year, but don't expect too much of that. Vidic is a world-class player, and it won't take him much time to return to that form.
CB: Rio Ferdinand
Jonny Evans and Phil Jones will definitely get some time in the back, but it's still Rio Ferdinand's position to lose.
According to a recent interview, Nemanja Vidic is excited to play with Ferdinand again and reclaim their spot as the best centre-back pairing in England. Both of them are complete defenders, and they work well together.
If those two can return to their 2008 form (or something close), Manchester United will be the EPL favorite.
Right-back is another position that Phil Jones will be battling for, but don't expect him to win this either.
Rafael is the natural right-back, and he has matured enough to get regular playing time in the EPL. He's a solid defender, and his attacking is top notch. When he pushes forward, he adds an incredibly dangerous width to Manchester United's attack.
This position is up in the air, but Rafael makes the most sense to start the season.
LM: Ashley Young
Despite his horrific Euro showing, Ashley Young should still start for Manchester United.
He was great at the beginning of last season, and that should happen again. He is arguably the best English winger; he just needs to play as well as he's capable of playing.
Nani will get some time on this wing as well, but Young will most likely be the early season starter.
CM: Tom Cleverley
Many people consider Tom Cleverley the future for Manchester United, but he's ready right now.
The 23-year-old has been lauded since he came through the United youth academy, where he arrived at the age of 11. It's more than a decade later, and he's ready to be a regular contributor to the senior team.
Cleverley could've been a regular last year, but an injury derailed his season. If he stays healthy, he should be a regular starter this season.
CM: Shinji Kagawa
The Shinji Kagawa era at Manchester United suddenly looks confusing.
With the purchase of Robin van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson will employ two strikers. Accordingly, it will be tough for him to give Kagawa free room to roam. Unfortunately for the Japanese international, he will be stuck more in the middle of the field, which will give him less space.
United have plenty of depth in the midfield, but they desperately need Kagawa to play well. If not, they will need to turn around and sell him quickly to try and find someone that will work.
RM: Antonio Valencia
Last season, Antonio Valencia made it clear that he deserves to start on the right wing.
He was one of Manchester United's best players last season because he showed up on a weekly basis and caused havoc. Not many left-backs can contain him, and Valencia understands that.
He pushes forward quickly, and he keeps defenders on their heels. As long as he's doing that, Valencia will have a starting spot for United.
ST: Wayne Rooney
I'm hesitant to call Wayne Rooney a striker because he won't necessarily be up top.
While he will be a key attacking player, Rooney will probably play slightly behind Robin van Persie, giving each of them more time and space to carve defenses apart. With Rooney's skill set, it would make more sense to give him a person to play off of, not next to.
Rooney is a smart player, and he will adjust accordingly, but it would be optimal to drop him slightly like last year, making United's attack as lethal as possible.
ST: Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie is the man of the hour.
He was the best scorer in England last year, and he's moving to a team that finished second in goals scored. Manchester United didn't have trouble scoring goals, but they still brought in the most lethal striker they could find.
Not too shabby.
If van Persie stays healthy, he will have a field day playing with Wayne Rooney and United's collection of wingers. It will be fun to watch as a neutral fan, but opposing fans will only watch in horror as van Persie finds the net 30-plus times this season.
A 4-4-2 makes the most sense for Manchester United.
With that said, Sir Alex Ferguson might want to move Wayne Rooney directly behind Robin van Persie and run a 4-5-1 (a 4-4-1-1, so to speak). However, that could take Shinji Kagawa out of his element, which would defeat the purpose of buying him this summer.
Additionally, for this lineup, the centre of the pitch is interchangeable because it doesn't matter, as long as the player stays in the middle of the pitch.
With van Persie, United suddenly have become favorites to win just about everything in England and potentially Europe. If everyone can stay healthy, they should be one of the best teams in the world.
They just have to live up to expectations.