How many of this season's Manchester United starting XI will still be there next season?
The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used a total of 32 players in all competitions this season, and there are likely to be several arrivals and departures at Old Trafford during the summer.
Who will be in the starting line-up when the new season kicks off in August this year?
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spaniard has overcome all those early doubts and is developing into one of the world’s best goalkeepers. Always a brilliantly agile shot-stopper, he has now toughened up in the Premier League as well. The only problem for United now is keeping him away from Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Right-back: Rafael Da Silva
The Brazilian defender has been one of United’s players of the season and certainly the most improved. He has grown into the player Sir Alex Ferguson always knew he could be: strong and quick going forward but now more reliable in defence. Could be United's right-back for the next decade.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand
He might be 34 now, but following in the boot steps of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Ferdinand looks set to enjoy a prolonged career at United into his late 30s. No longer plagued by injuries, he has been consistently brilliant in the heart of defence this season for United.
No wonder Roy Hodgson wanted him back in his squad for he remains England's best central defender.
Centre-back: Ezequiel Garay
Is Nemanja Vidic the same player he was before his long injury lay-off? Is Jonny Evans really good enough at the highest level? And is Phil Jones better used in midfield? These will be the questions occupying Sir Alex Ferguson’s mind at the moment, and the answers could lead him to recruit another central defender. According to the Express, it appears he is very keen on Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay.
Left-back: Patrice Evra
Tear up those obituaries for the Frenchman’s United career. After a comparatively poor 2011/12 season, Evra has been almost back to his best this season, harder to beat in defence and surging forward with the same urgency as before. He has also contributed four goals this season.
Right Midfield: Antonio Valencia
This hasn’t been the Ecuadorian's finest season at United, but he was voted the club's Player of the Year last season, and Ferguson has always liked him for his pace and running ability. He will be retained for next season as he shows more consistency than Ashley Young or Nani.
Central Midfield: Michael Carrick
One of the most underestimated players in Manchester United’s history, Carrick quietly goes about making United tick with his astute passing from the centre of midfield. This season has been one of his best at Old Trafford, and he will be there again next season.
Central Midfield: Phil Jones
Sir Alex Ferguson hasn't signed an established central midfielder for United since Owen Hargreaves in 2007, and this run could be continued beyond this summer as the United manager looks to keep faith with Phil Jones in the centre of midfield. Ferguson is a huge admirer of the former Blackburn man and has been impressed with how he has played the holding midfield role this season.
Left Midfield: Wilfried Zaha
Signed from Crystal Palace for £12 million in January this year, Zaha will arrive at Old Trafford in the summer. Expect him to have a major and immediate impact at United. This kid is the real deal—he can play on either flank and has the skill and pace to beat any defender.
Advanced Midfield: Shinji Kagawa
This season we have only had glimpses of the Japanese playmaker’s immense potential: the hat-trick against Norwich, the body swerve to set up Antonio Valencia at West Ham this week. After using this season to settle in, expect Kagawa’s influence on United is set to get a lot bigger from next season.
Centre forward: Robin van Persie
There might have been that mid-season dip in form, but the Dutchman has been United’s best player the season and his 20 goals from 29 Premier League starts is the main reason United are heading towards a 20th league title. There is a lot more to come from him next season, too.