The season couldn’t have stopped at a more awkward period for Manchester United, who had finally picked up some momentum in time for the final stretch of the campaign. While an 11-game unbeaten streak suggests the Red Devils have had a prosperous 2020 so far, the entire season itself hasn’t gone through without its share of bumps.
Indeed, it’s been a very topsy-turvy ride for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. There have been unprecedented highs(league double over BOTH Chelsea & Man City in the same season) as well as embarrassing lows(losing to relegation contenders Watford, Bournemouth, West Ham without scoring).
Similarly, the players themselves have experienced hot n’ cold form over this season. While some have excelled throughout the season, others have remained inconsistency. There are also a few who have pretty much been disappointing throughout the campaign. With a good two-thirds of the season done, lets look at the United Player report card for the 19/20 season so far.
David De Gea (C)
It’s quite clear that David De Gea isn’t THAT good anymore. The former multi-time United player of the year winner has made a string of costly errors which have cost United points that could’ve seen them already in the top-four. He’s turned into Superman-Dave on occasions, but still needs to gain the consistency to reclaim his “Best in the World” reputation.
Sergio Romero (B)
In a different time, he’d be United’s #1. Apart from that brain-fade against Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League, Romero has been an impenetrable wall. With 12 clean-sheets in 14 appearances, stellar saves in every game to deny opposition, the Argentine’s proved himself as the best backup goalie in the country.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (A)
Despite being signed for a hefty fee, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has probably been United’s best buy this season. For a side begging for a proper right-back for many years, he’s been everything the fans wanted. With his incredible tackling ability, defensive fortitude & ‘you shall not pass’ attitude, he’s shut down the very best in the league. Still needs to work on his attacking side.
Diogo Dalot (C)
Dalot has made only a handful of appearances, with his best coming in the FA Cup thrashing of Tranmere Rovers. Scored his first-ever goal then, but has rarely done anything to challenge AWB.
Harry Maguire (B+)
Harry Maguire arrived at United with extremely high expectations thanks to his £80m record fee, but has eventually settled into becoming the defensive leader they lacked last season. After a few wobbly months, Maguire has improved extensively since receiving the captain’s armband, helping United keep 8 clean sheets in his last 10 games. With his aerial prowess, no-nonsense defending & leadership skills, he’s played a prominent role in the Red Devils keeping 21 clean sheets in 47 games in all competitions this season.
Victor Lindelof (B-)
While not as impactful as the Englishman, Lindelof has supported Maguire pretty well in the backline. When his partner has struggled, the Swede’s stepped up to provide composure to United’s backline. With his passing ability and game-reading skills, he’s helped ensure a secure backline. Still needs to work on his aerial prowess as well as physicality.
Eric Bailly (B)
Been a marvel since returning from injury. Eric Bailly’s aggressive, wild style has actually gone well with Maguire’s composed one. Helped United keep a slew of clean sheets since returning & seems to be regaining his best form.
Phil Jones (E)
The utter bane of the United backline. Made a grave error in almost every game he’s started, undoing all his teammates’ good work. Hasn’t appeared since the Carabao Cup mauling from Man City in January.
Axel Tuanzebe (C)
Axel has had a real stop-start season. He proved himself a real leader with his strong performances in cup competitions & even did well in a few league games. Hasn’t appeared since picking up a knock in October.
Marcos Rojo (D)
Rojo made a few appearances at left-back and in the back-three set-up, but couldn’t really do anything to win over a spot. Loaned out in January.
Luke Shaw (B)
Like Maguire, Luke Shaw also has had a bumpy campaign so far. He struggled to impress initially but has picked up his game exponentially since Brandon Williams’ competition. Slotted into the back-three superbly on big occasions, silenced dangerous attackers & done his defensive duties well. Needs to offer better options moving forward through the left.
Brandon Williams (B-)
Williams’ been the perfect foil to Shaw when he’s struggled. Offered Ole a different option at left-back, with his warrior spirit galvanizing the side. His aggressive style matches well with his never-say-die attitude. Not afraid of getting physical & his energetic presence helps him be effective on both sides of the field. OGS doesn’t need to buy another LB anymore.
After a baptism of fire last season, the Brazilian has finally unveiled his potential at United this season. Fred’s dogged nature, unrelenting energy, tireless pressing has helped the Red Devils dominate the midfield battle. He’s helped retain possession, get passes upfield and box out opposition midfielders. Still lacking on goals & assists, but recent performances prove that aspect is also improving.
Nemanja Matic (B)
Matic looked to be out of United in January after barely featuring in the first few months. However, he settled things out & emerged as a real saviour with many midfielders getting injured during the festive period. Matic has since been a pivotal part of United’s success this year, with his strong defensive ability, physicality & experience playing a big role in their success.
Andreas Pereira (C-)
Pereira just hasn’t been good enough. Despite a few assists and goals here & there, he’s struggled to stamp his mark in the side. His final product is often underwhelming, while his error-prone nature hasn’t helped his case to become a regular.
Jesse Lingard (E)
Lingard’s woes are seemingly never-ending at this point. He hasn’t scored a single Premier League goal in over a year and only netted his only strike this season in the Europa League against FC Astana. Disappointing, frustrating throughout.
Scott McTominay (B+)
McTominay’s recorded major improvements under OGS, who allows him to express his natural style well. The Scotsman’s been a gritty, tenacious figure in United’s midfield and bullied opposition with his determination. While he missed a few months to injury, McTominay’s winner against Man City proved he’s only getting better.
Paul Pogba (D)
The French star has only made 8 appearances across all competitions, with his best coming in the opening day win over Chelsea. He’s flirted with a move away from United for a long time & been injured since Boxing Day.
Bruno Fernandes (A+)
He should’ve been signed in the summer itself, but Bruno’s completely revitalized United’s spirits since arriving in late January. With his demanding attitude, brilliant creativity and hunger to win, the Red Devils remain undefeated since his arrival. With 3 goals & 4 assists in 9 appearances, Fernandes has picked up multiple accolades, giving OGS’ side the push they needed.
Juan Mata (B)
Of course, Mata isn’t capable of being the first player in United’s teamsheet, but he’s done a decent job in his rotational role. By playing mentor to the youngsters, filling into various roles to bring more creativity to United’s attack, he’s added depth to their attack. By also chipping in goals & assists, Mata’s proved why he’s earned his spot at United.
Daniel James (B-)
The young Welshman had a terrific start to his United career, scoring 3 goals in his first 4 games. After that, his goal-scoring productivity dimmed down but he kept providing decisive assists. While his final delivery needs some improving, James’ electric pace & trickery has made him a terror to defence against and a future asset for the Red Devils.
Mason Greenwood (B+)
Not many actually expected the teenager to feature much this season, but OGS was persistent on unveiling his talent. With 12 goals across all competitions this season, Greenwood’s United’s third highest-scorer & his clinical nature proves there’s much more to come.
Anthony Martial (A)
Martial has been frustrating on occasions in his new role leading United’s line, but he’s definitely risen to the task whenever the chips were down for OGS’ side. With 16 goals across all competitions, he’s shined on the big occasions multiple times, terrorized defenders with his movement & created many majestic moments his ability. Injuries, however, still hold him back from unleashing his full might.
Odion Ighalo (B)
Ighalo wasn’t someone who one could’ve envisioned as a United player a few months back, but he’s actually made a decent impact since arriving on loan. He’s netted 4 goals in as many starts, with his physicality and all-round striking instincts making him a solid alternative to Martial. His impressive performances have seemingly won over Ole’s confidence, as he’s set to see his deal made permanent in the summer.
Marcus Rashford (A+)
Rashford has taken the #10 jersey with pride, proving just how good he can be this season. The Englishman soared through the left wing-forward role at United, with his blazing run, shooting accuracy and clinical nature all shining through. He netted 19 goals for United, including 14 in the league & is their highest-scorer. An injury set-back disrupted his momentum in January, but Rashford’s excellent work up until that point easily makes him the Red Devils’ best player this season.