Jose Mourinho’s revolution of Manchester United has taken another step to completion with the £75 million acquisition of Romelu Lukaku. Coming from under Chelsea’s nose to reunite the Belgian with the man who sold him at Stamford Bridge, he has begun pre-season training in LA with the squad. With Zlatan and Wayne Rooney gone, he will be the main man in an exciting looking frontline which should bring more goals to Old Trafford, hopefully.
Mourinho is known to settle on a system once he finds it clicks and form a settled team. But with injuries and results, it’s been difficult for him to get that, so what are his options?
A style that became his preferred in the second-half of the season and provided United a route back into the Champions League. The back-line of Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, new signing Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo at full-back provides pace and power in front of the dependable David De Gea.
Michael Carrick can operate from deep behind the effective anchor of Ander Herrera and the flair of Paul Pogba. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashord provide a balance of width, pace and ability to cut inside and shoot. Lukaku will thrive off such creativity and quality around him, being the poacher Mourinho needs.
A more defensive system, one which could be deployed away from home against rivals. Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw show strength in depth in the defensive ranks should another injury crisis strike. Herrera can play in a pivot alongside Pogba with Maroaune Fellaini at the number 10 role. As criticised as he is, he is another option at Mourinho’s disposal and does come up with crucial goals.
Juan Mata can operate in an interchangeable trio with Jesse Lingard and Antony Martial, whilst Lukaku leads the line.
The Red Devils boss hasn’t been one to deploy three at the back too often, so a direct, offensive system could work for him. Many occasions last season, United were left frustrated by a resilient opposition. Lining Lukaku up front with Rashford presents one of the best striker partnerships in the league.
Moving Valencia up to right wing adds balance down the flank, in front of Darmian. Mkhitaryan has shown his capabilities in getting up and down the wing in the Europa League, playing in front of Luke Shaw. Pogba and new club captain Carrick can control the midfield battle as Baily and Lindelof guard in front of De Gea. The new man from Benfica will hope to strike a quick bond with Bailly provide a stable pair for Mourinho to rely on.
(Featured Image credit: Daily Star)