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How Manchester United’s starting XI could look under Ralf Rangnick

Manchester United’s dismal start to the campaign has led to ever-increasing pressure mounting on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with his days appearing numbered in the Old Trafford dugout.

The Red Devils have already lost six games in all competitions, have exited the Carabao Cup and sit nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

As a result, several star names have been linked with replacing the under-fire Solskjaer at United’s helm, including Ralf Rangnick, the current sporting director of Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow.

Would Rangnick drop Ronaldo?

Yes, definitely!

Yes, definitely!

No way!

No way!

Rangnick is a renowned footballing brain, responsible for revolutionising modern German tactics, founding gegenpressing and inspiring a wave of elite tacticians in his homeland.

The likes of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Naglesmann have all based their philosophies off of the 63-year-old’s principles, highlighting the influence he has had over the beautiful game.

His high-intensity, pressing-focussed style is based around tactically intelligent, mobile players commonly deployed in a 4-2-2-2 shape that drops into a 4-4-2 when out of possession.

With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expects United to look under Rangnick, should he replace Solskjaer over the coming months…

Despite David de Gea’s impressive start to the current campaign, Rangnick’s sides require a sweeper-keeper due to their high defensive line, meaning the more proactive Dean Henderson would likely be preferred to the Spaniard.

Ahead of the 24-year-old would be a familiar back four, but with one significant change.

While Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane would almost certainly keep their places, Diogo Dalot could complete the defensive unit ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka due to his superior attacking prowess.

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The engine room would likely feature some fresh faces too. Fred’s ability to win the ball back and dispossess opponents would be highly regarded by Rangnick, and Donny van de Beek’s mobility and tactical nouse, something that saw him dubbed “very clever” by Juan Mata, could see him become a regular starter.

However, it’s in attack where Rangnick would have the biggest and most controversial decisions to make.

Jadon Sancho displayed an impressive understanding of pressing during his Borussia Dortmund days under the tutelage of Lucien Favre, meaning he could get the nod over Mason Greenwood, with Marcus Rashford on the opposite flank.

And Cristiano Ronaldo’s inability to press from the front means Edinson Cavani would be guaranteed to feature from the off alongside Bruno Fernandes, dropping the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to the bench.

And, in other news…“Talks on..”: Journalist issues big Man Utd manager update, fans will be buzzing 

Article title: How Manchester United’s starting XI could look under Ralf Rangnick

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