Manchester United starting XI come February?

We think that, despite the team facing serious criticism this season, Manchester United still have a great nucleus of players. They may not have quite as many as they used to. But they still have 7 players who would be considered shoe-ins at this point.

Ideally, David Moyes would add 4 players to his side right now – a left-back, centre-back, central midfielder and another winger. Moyes could probably do with more than one addition to the centre of midfield but, when Carrick is fit, he still gets in the dream team.

The need for a brilliant attacking midfielder is the most pressing. Some are suggesting that Moyes is about to invest in yet another defensive midfielder. We think that he needs a creator more than anything. Fellaini, Carrick and Jones can all do the holding job. What United need is a player to control the play, knit the team together, provide assists and a general air of magic to the midfield. We don’t think Atletico’s much vaunted Koke would come in January – but he would be an excellent addition.

We believe that Wesley Sneijder is more feasible option at this time. At 29 he’s fit, sharp and on top of his game. He’s exactly the midfield maestro that Manchester United lacks.

If Moyes is to persist with a loose 4-4-2 he will definitely require another winger. Guardian reporter Jamie Jackson was this week talking about the prospect of Andros Townsend making the move North. What a player he would be for The Reds. His style epitomises what United have been about over the last 20 years – he’s fast, skillful, daring and generally buccaneering. He hasn’t found a place in the Tottenham team so easy to come by of late but we still think that the club would do all they could to keep him. Nevertheless he’s be mustard for a Manchester United side with Januzaj on the other wing.

In defence Patrice Evra will eventually need replacing but he still offers much. If Luke Shaw wants a top mentor then who better than Patrice Evra – one of Manchester United’s stand out performers for the better part of a decade.

At centre-back the young, yet monolithic Eliaquim Mangala would be an excellent addition.

So here it is. The somewhat hopeful best case scenario XI for Manchester United come February.

DE GEA, RAFAEL, MANGALA, JONES, SHAW, TOWNSEND, CARRICK, SNEIJDER, JANUZAJ, ROONEY, RvP

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