The summer transfer window has brought more cash than anyone can comprehend to Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez have been the two main money sources, bringing over £100,000,000 to Manchester United.
Ronaldo departed the club for a "life-long dream" move to Real Madrid, while Carlos Tevez made his way to neighbours and fierce rivals, Manchester City. The departures of Ronaldo and Tevez have created a major headache for Sir Alex and his team leading up to the start of the season.
Since the summer transfer window began, the Red Devils have picked up the important signatures of four players in an attempt to try and fill the holes left by Ronaldo and Tevez.
Antonio Valencia was the frist new signing at United after Wigan Athletic agreed a £16,000,000 fee. The Ecuadorian winger is the most likely candidate to fill the right-wing position, left open by Ronaldo's departure.
Manchester United have also signed ex Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle stiker Michael Owen on a free transfer after his contract came to an end at St. James's Park.
The 29 year old England veteran will most likely take his place on the bench this season, coming on as an 'impact player' when needed. He has already proved he can make a difference on the pitch, after slotting the winner on his debut in United's preseason friendly win against a Malaysian XI.
French wonderkid Gabriel Obertan and Norweigan hotshot Mame Biram Diouf are the two other new faces at Old trafford. The pair will most likely find themselves warming to the vastly different English game in the reserves this season. Although it has been reported by the Gaffer that we may see them appearing for the first team in Cup ties, albeit not often.
So now how will the United line up look?
We will most likely see a fit Wes Brown at right-back for the Red Devils this season. Brown had an amazing '07/08 campaign but was forced out of most of last season due to various injuries.
This gave young Brazilian Rafael the opportunity to make a statement at Old Trafford—and a statement he made. His attacking flare, determination and guts were plenty enough to see him appear regularly in the defence; not to mention his screaming 35 yard volley against Arsenal.
In central defence there will be no need for questions. Skipper Rio Ferdinand will partner Nemanja Vidic, in arguably the best defensive partnership in footballing history. Last season the pair set a world record of 12 consecutive clean sheets.
Serbian international Nemanja Vidic has been hailed as the best central defender of all time. His tough, brutal, no-nonsense attitude has crushed the world's best attacking forces such as Inter Milan, Arsenal and Chelsea. Jonny Evans, the young Irish international will be the primary back-up for the center back position.
Again there will be no need for questions regarding the left back position at Old Trafford this year. Patrice Evra, who has come on leaps-and-bounds since joining United from AS Monaco in 2006, will be another key feature in the rock-solid United defence.
His attacking attitude, determination and pace have also had the footballing world hailing him as the best wing back in the world. Yet another United player being recognised world-wide.
Now the midfield. In one of the centre-mid roles we will certainly be seeing Michael Carrick. Carrick was strongly criticised after his disappointing first couple of seasons at United, after signing from Tottenham in 2006.
But his '08/'09 campaign hit his critics back. He proved to be the oil in the machine for United, holding the midfield, dictating play and sending miraculous long balls up to the United front-men all season long.
The more attacking centre-mid role we may see Anderson, Fletcher, Scholes or even Giggs. Veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are past their used-by date but for Anderson to take the reins, he must improve. He has shown spells of class at United, but is lacking the consistency needed to secure his spot.
Another factor forcing Anderson out of the squad is the fact that he has still never scored for United, even after playing 38 games.
On the flanks we will most likely see Nani on the left accompanied by new-boy Antonio Valencia on the right. This must be the season for Nani. After being held out of the starting eleven for two seasons, here is his chance to secure his much dreamed left mid spot.
His inconsistency and sometimes bad decision making has let others try and prove their worth such as Ji-Sung Park and Serbian wonderkid Zoran Tosic. But Nani surely will be Sir Alex's first choice this year.
Up the front we will see Wayne Rooney leading the attack, with Dimitar Berbatov backing him up. Crossing wizards Nani and Valencia will provide a new dimension to the United attack force. Michael Owen will be the primary replacement up front, along with gamebreaker Frederico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf.
So it is looking like it could be a very interesting season for United. It is the season where the young players must step up and be counted. With no more CR7, just how well will the Red Devils go?
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