This year has the potential for a lot of young players to become stars and United has always been a place where young players have the chance to do just that. With only a few signing so far, there is the potential for a lot of the reserve team members to get quality playing time. Javier "Chicharo" Hernandez (22) looks like a great signing. He has speed, fantastic ability on the ball, and a true strikers finishing touch. Along with Chicharo, there is Federico Machada (18). He showed last season that he could play at the Premier League level. Then on the wing, there is Gabriel Obertan (21) who is still a work in progress. There is no doubt that he has the ability but with so many wingers already on the team, he will see little time on the first team. In midfield, there are a couple of young players that can make a difference. Darren Gibson (22), Rodrigo Possebon (21), and Tom Cleverley (20). Possebon will be in his, make or break, 3rd year with United. From what I have seen of Cleverley, he is going to be a United player for years to come. He has decent speed, good movement, good vision with the ball, and very good passing skills from the wings. Gibson will be in his 2nd year with the first team. Last year he showed that he has an eye for goal and isn't afraid to get stuck in. In defense, United have plenty of young talent. Rafael and Fabio de Silva (20) will be in their 3rd year playing for United. Both will see quality time with the first team. Richie De Laet (21) is in his 2nd year and gives quality minutes when needed. Jonny Evans (22) is the heir apparent to Rio Ferdinand's position. He played most of last season and was a key member of the team. Chris Smalling (20) is a tall center back that will probably spend this season on the reserve team after playing for Fulham last year. He will need to learn how to play the United way and needs to be put on a strengthening program.
Then you have the old guard and the not so old guard. Rooney, Nani, Valencia, Fletcher, Park, O'Shea, Carrick, Vidić, Berbatov, Kuszeak, Brown, Owen, Evra, Ferdinand, Scholes, Neville, Giggs, and Van der Sar are a potent team of veterans. With this group of veterans, it's hard to think that any young player would get much time on the field but that is not how Sir Alex does things. He always works youth in with veterans so that he is never in a situation where he has to rebuild. And there is always young talented players coming up through the United system to learn from the older players. Last year this group of players came up 2 points short of winning the league for the 4th straight year. The one place where United really needed help was at striker. With Chicharo's signing and Machada a year older, hopefully Rooney & Co. has the help they need. And there's still 2 weeks till the end of the summer transfer window and there could be a new signing. But without a new signing, United have the strongest team in the Premier League in my opinion. United have reserve team players that will see little time on the first team that would be major players at other teams in the league. They have a balance of youth and experience that most clubs don't have. With the win over Chelsea in the Community Shield and the win over Newcastle in the season opener, we have seen a little glimpse of the coming year. And it's going to be a great year to be a Red Devil.