Manchester United Fan’s Premier League Season Preview

After a summer of shrewd business in the transfer market, can the Red Devils bridge the gap at the top to bitter rivals Manchester City?

Published: 6 August 2021 - 5.08pm

Ahead of a brand new season of Premier League football on BT Sport, we spoke to fans of each and every team about their expectations for what lies ahead over the next nine months.

Talking all things Manchester United, BTSport.com sat down with The Athletic’s Anthony Hay to get his thoughts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's charges.

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Hopes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's been backed big time so we need to win a trophy. 

He’s got Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane so we should now be pushing for a silverware, at least.

We should really be aiming to win the title but that all depends on whether Man City buy Harry Kane. If they do, it will be very hard to compete with them.

We’ve done well in recent seasons on the counter but we need to be more of a possession-based side. It’s all well and good against a top-six side on counter but when you’re at home against a team like Crystal Palace you need to be able to dominate.

The arrival of Sancho should help in that respect. He's shown he can create and score goals in the Bundesliga so hopefully he can replicate that in the Premier League and connect with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba. 

I'm also hoping for a resfreshed Bruno. He tailed off at the end of last season which is understandable given he played 72 games.

He's been a brilliant player for us but there's always room for improvement. He needs to be tidier in possession because a lot of our issues came from giving the ball away in midfield.

Fears

I’m worried about the goalkeeper situation.

We have two good keepers but David De Gea and Dean Henderson are not at the level of Ederson or Alisson.

De Gea has gone off the boil and Henderson still makes the odd mistake. I’m not convinced he has the quality required to help us win the league.

I feel more confident about our defence with Aaron Wan Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Varane and Luke Shaw, but the keeper situation is a big concern. 

I don’t think anyone knows who will be number one come the start of the season and you don’t want that when you are challenging for the title. 

Watch Man Utd v Leeds on BT Sport

The Red Devils' season opener is exclusively live on BT Sport 1 HD & Ultimate from 11.30am on Saturday 14 August.

Whether it was Edwin van der Sar or Peter Schmeichel, we always had a solid No 1 who you knew was going to be there week in, week out. Without that, it can quickly erode confidence. 

I’m worried about Edinson Cavani, too. 

We're relying on him to be our main striker and play 90 minutes every game at the age of 34.

If Cavani gets an injury and Anthony Martial isn't in form then all of a sudden all our hopes will be on teenager Mason Greenwood. 

 

Most important player

Bruno is our talisman but Harry Maguire is our leader and captain. He had such a good Euros and he’s getting better and better. 

With Varane next to him I think that partnership can be the new 'Ferdinand and Vidic'. 

If the Euros proved anything it's that Maguire is at his best when he has pace besides him, like Kyle Walker.

Varane has the speed and nous of a World Cup winner to counter Maguire's weaknesses. 

Rising star

It will be interesting to see what happens with Amad Diallo

There's plenty of competition on the right with Sancho and Daniel James, but Diallo looked really good at the Olympics with Ivory Coast.

I think he will find it tough to break into the league side but hopefully he can get some minutes in the FA Cup and League Cup so we can really see what he's all about.

He seems to be very direct, very skilful on the ball and his goal against AC Milan shows he can head the ball, too.

Ole needs to put more faith in him given the £37 million price tag.

 

What I’ve missed the most

The atmosphere. 

There's nothing like getting up close and personal with the players. Football just feels empty without fans. 

The Euros showed the difference fans make and the return of spectators should take United to another level. 

Our Old Trafford form was poor last season so hopefully we can translate last season's incredible away form into some home form.

 

Prediction

2nd place.

I think we will get closer to City but if they get Kane then they will be out of reach. 

We finished 12 points behind them last season and if we can get that deficit down to single figures and win the FA Cup or League Cup then that will be classed as a good season.

Fans will be calling for the Premier League title or the Champions League but we need to stay patient.

We've just added a World Cup winner to the squad so that shows we are heading in the right direction. The jigsaw pieces are starting to fall into place!