With under two weeks left before the start of the new season, I've had a chance to assess my favorite team by watching them thrash Valerenga 3-0 on television. For the second season in a row, there is a surge of excitement as incoming transfers Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof follow in last summer’s footsteps of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, allowing Jose Mourinho to put his stamp on things even further.
The Sure Things
Let's take a look at who I believe are the top tier fantasy prospects of the team as we inch closer to gameweek one.
David De Gea in goal is pretty much a plug and play option, a strong candidate for 16-19 clean sheets at a cost of £5.5.
The same can be said of Antonio Valencia, who at £6.5 offers the potential for attacking and bonus points. With the addition of the attack-minded Lukaku to run onto his inviting crosses, Valencia should be a certainty to increase on his three assist total from last season.
Five goals and four assists last season may not seem like numbers that makes anyone with a price tag of £8.0 a tier one option. How much better can we expect someone who will see about the same pitch time to be? The answer when it comes to Pogba lies elsewhere my friends, look no further than the recently announced signing Matic. This is a player who will provide Pogba the freedom to drive forward more often, and my expectation is a minimum of 15 goals and assists combined.
Our final top tier player at Old Trafford is already in almost 50% of teams. Mourinho surely wants to improve upon the 54 goals of last season, and in signing Lukaku, added a strong Golden Boot candidate. What he lacks in skill and composure in comparison to the man he replaces, Ibrahimovic, he will make up for with a willingness to run the channels and keep defenders busy. A price tag of £11.5 has proven undaunting to fantasy players, and rightly so with opening fixtures of West Ham United (H), Swansea City (A) and Leicester City (H). Lukaku should hit the ground running and yes, he should be in your team.
Let’s Be Patient
A trio of mercurial talents with question marks lead off the tier two prospects; they are Mkhitaryan who is tearing up the preseason, along with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Predicting the minutes for these players is difficult so I'd hold off to start the season. The same goes for Eric Bailly and Lindelof, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones still lurking around.
I haven't gotten around to selecting my team yet, but you can be sure Lukaku and either Valencia or De Gea will be in there. Who are you grabbing from Manchester United?